Today, I looked at US Jail data and the correlation between number of people jailed with various education levels achieved in the population.

Looking at the final dashboard, there are some interesting trends. First, Nevada and Arizona are the worst offenders in terms of people in jail as a percentage of the state population.

Second, there is a slight correlation between the high school graduation rate and percentage of people put in jail. It is very slight, however, and may not be enough to sway public policy in any direction. On the other hand, there is a stronger trend with higher college graduation rates corresponding to less people jailed.

Finally, a breakdown of specific education levels achieves shows that the percentage of people acquiring associates degrees does not really impact on people jailed, but bachelors and graduate or professional degree rates so, similar to college graduation rates.

Step 1 – Getting the Data

To make the dashboard I started with jail data showing headcounts, admissions, and releases per day for jails in each state:’

I summarised counts by state – taking the maximum count for 2022, then joined the data to additional tables to obtain:

  • State populations
  • Graduations rates by state for school and college
  • Degree rates by state for associates, bachelors, and graduate degrees

Step 2 – Extra Measures

After importing everything into Tableau, I then calculated rates for the headcount (incarcerated), admissions, and releases counts – all as percentages of the population of each state.

A parameter was then created to switch between measures.

Step 3 – Making Charts

First, I made the map to highlight which states have the highest jail/incarceration rates.

Next, I then created a few scatter plots to show any correlations between jail/incarceration rates. A trend line was added to each scatter plot to easily identify any trends.

And that’s all. A simple and informative dashboard on jail and education.

The Data School
Author: The Data School