Is the following question kosher here?

I have read that incarcerated adults in the U.S. make up roughly 1% of the adult population, and the number of adults on probation or parole is approximately 2%. I'd like to know approximately what the incarceration rate is specifically for local jails, such as county jails.

Bonus: what are these rates for the state of New York?

If it doesn't work as written, can you suggest how to make it work, or where I could post it?

  • what do you mean by incarceration rate for local jails? Are you asking what percentage of the population is in a local jail? – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Apr 13 '17 at 15:01
  • @SamIam - Yes, in other words, out of that 1%, how are those people distributed among the different types of prisons? – aparente001 Apr 13 '17 at 16:39
  • If you can find a source you might be able to ask the question on Skeptics. This is the sort of question that Oddthinking may find interesting to research and he often goes beyond The question would need to be limited to the actual claim but in verifing the claim the statistics could provide the answer you are looking for – SoylentGray Apr 20 '17 at 18:46

I am afraid this question is off-topic here. We only handle questions about governments, policies and political processes. The incarceration rate might be an indirect effect of government policies, but pretty much everything is in one way or another.

The way indigochild proposes to make the question on-topic doesn't fly. It's still not a question about governments, policies or political processes.


As written, that question does not appear to be about politics or policy as defined in our Help page. While it's almost definitely true that the incarceration rate in local and county jails is driven by policy, your question doesn't connect to any aspect of public policy - it's just a request for a number.

If your question is motivated by something you read about a public policy, then just giving us that context could make it on-topic. For example, if the question were framed as :

Minister X is proposing policy Y because the incarceration rate in federal prisons is Z%. However, opponents are saying it will unfairly burden local and county jails. What is the incarceration rate in these facilities?

Now we aren't just providing a context-less number, we are answering a question about public policy, which is on-topic.

As written, I don't believe there is any stack where it would be on-topic.

  • 1
    I don't agree that pretext can change whether the same question is on or off topic here. In both cases, the same question is asked and the same answers would work. Your approach also encourages people to lead with potentially biased assertions in order to establish political context. – K-C Apr 13 '17 at 14:41
  • @K-C - You might consider posting an answer with your recommendation. – indigochild Apr 13 '17 at 14:46
  • Maybe, but all I'm saying is that I think if aparente001's question is on-topic, so is your example and if aparente001's question is off-topic, so is your example. If I wrote that, it wouldn't answer aparante001's question. I'm just disagreeing with your proposed analysis for judging whether things are on-topic or not. Maybe I should ask a separate meta question. Something like: can pre-text/context/set-up change whether the same question is on-topic? – K-C Apr 13 '17 at 14:55
  • @K-C - That might be valuable. This question is about evaluating a specific potential question. Something more generic might help us build some consensus. – indigochild Apr 13 '17 at 15:07

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