BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — According to, with nearly two million people behind bars at any given time, the United States has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world.

Looking at some of the jail numbers for North Dakota, in 2019, the Burleigh Morton Detention Center had a daily average of between 300 to 350 inmates, on the high end for the jail.

However, this year, there are about 200 men and women locked up daily

Fewer offenders may sound like a positive sign, but Burleigh County Sheriff Kelly Leben says he’s not sure that means simply less crime is happening or if more people are being released quicker.

“Make sure that the system is working and we’re putting the right people in jail. Ultimately, if somebody is productive, not going to commit more crimes and we can get them back out and being productive, that’s what we want to do,” said Burleigh County Sheriff, Kelly Leben.

Another statistic from shows North Dakota has an incarceration rate of 583 per 100,000 people, meaning it locks up a higher percentage of its people than almost anywhere else.