I chose to create two graphs that illustrate the growing prison population from 1990 to 2014. The issue of mass incarceration is extremely prevalent at the moment. One of the institutions of the United States which begs for significant reform is the criminal justice system. With the US being the countries with the most prisoners per capita, it is clear that efforts need to be made to reduce these numbers. I created the following graph depicting the overall rise in the prison population. You can see that the number of total inmates rises somewhat steadily from 1990 to about 2007 and then begins to level off approaching 2014. While it is positive that the population has stopped rising so quickly, it is important to make efforts towards decreasing the number of people in prison more rapidly as well.
The following graph depicts the rise in the prison population by the offense. This graph depicts drug offenses a the most common and fastest growing reason that people go to prison. While property offenses, violent offenses, and other seem to have remained consistent over time, drug offenses as well a public order defenses have clearly risen. I am not surprised by what is shown about drug offenses due to the recent movement to decriminalize more minor drug offenses. This seems like it could be an effective way to decrease the overall prison population because drug offenses make up the greatest portion of prisoners in the system.