Massachusetts has an incarceration rate that is well below the national
average - in fact, if you live in Massachusetts you are only half as
likely to go to county jail than the average American.
Incarceration by demographics
Like most states, only about 6% of inmates are females. The most common
types of crimes committed in Massachusetts are property crimes,
theft/larceny and drug-related crimes. Marijuana is not legal in this
state but there is a special law that treats a first time possession
offense similar to a minor traffic offense.
DUI's also account for a large percentage of arrests in Massachusetts.
You can be charged with DUI either under per se laws or impairment. Per
se laws are more common because they only stipulate that if your BAC is
above 0.08% you are considered drunk, regardless of impairment. This is
easier to test for and convict whereas impairment alone can be
How do you end up in a Massachusetts
Usually you end up in county jail as a result of a misdemeanor charge.
You can also be sentenced to a county jail for a felony, though you are
also a candidate for prison at this point. County jails typically house
inmates who are serving a year or less while you may spend several
years (or even life) in prison.
What you see on television and the movies is usually prison - there is
a lot more violence because people have longer sentences (they have
less incentive to obey the rules since release times are pretty much