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Corrections Rankings: Measuring the efficiency of state prison systems

Corrections is worth one-half of the weight in ranking the Best States for crime & corrections. This subcategory is further broken into five metrics: incarceration rate, juvenile incarceration, racial equality in jailing, three-year recidivism rate and sexual violence in prisons. Corrections, including prisons, parole, juvenile and other programs, cost billions of dollars a year, with state and local spending increasing at triple the rate of public elementary and secondary education funding. The efficiency of a state’s corrections system shows how a state handles crime and public safety.

The two Best States for corrections are New Hampshire and Maine, which both also rank in the top three for safety. New Hampshire also ranks in the top 10 overall, as do Massachusetts and Utah, the fourth and fifth Best States for corrections, respectively. Four of the top 5 Best States for corrections are in New England or the Far West, and Pennsylvania and South Dakota are the worst states for corrections.

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