Peter Wagner, Executive Director
I need your help. For more than a decade, the Prison Policy Initiative has been at the forefront of the movement to expose how mass incarceration undermines our national welfare. We've won major civil rights victories in local governments, state legislatures and even the Supreme Court. But our long-term viability depends on people like you investing in our work.

Can you stand up for smart and effective justice policy by joining our small network of donors today? You can make a one-time gift, or even become one of our sustaining monthly donors.

I thank you for investing in our work towards a more just tomorrow.
—Peter
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Research Clearinghouse:

Beyond producing original research, the Prison Policy Initiative edits several databases to empower activists, journalists, and policymakers to shape effective criminal justice policy. This page contains links to virtually all the empirical criminal justice research available online, organized by category and publication date. If you know what you are looking for, you may also search the database. We also have an email newsletter (at right) for new research clearinghouse updates.


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Some of the most recently added reports are:

Friday, August 28 2015:

  • Overview of Federal Criminal Cases Fiscal Year 2014 [PDF] United States Sentencing Commission. August, 2015. "Cases involving drugs, immigration, firearms, or fraud accounted for 81.5 percent of all cases reported to the Commission."
  • Federal Drug Sentencing Laws Bring High Cost, Low Return: Penalty increases enacted in 1980s and 1990s have not reduced drug use or recidivism, Pew Charitable Trusts Public Safety Performance Project. August, 2015. "From 1980 to 2011 (the latest year for which comparable statistics are available), the average prison sentence imposed on drug offenders increased 36 percent."

Thursday, August 27 2015:

  • Realignment and Crime in 2014: California's Violent Crime in Decline, [PDF] Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice. August, 2015. "Contrary to alarms raised about potential increases in crime, consistent reports examining offenses at the county level over time show Realignment and crime do not have a causal relationship."

Tuesday, August 25 2015:

  • Disproportionate Impact of K-12 School Suspension and Expulsion on Black Students in Southern States, [PDF] University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. August, 2015. "In 132 Southern school districts, Blacks were disproportionately suspended at rates five times or higher than their representation in the student population."
  • Breaking Schools' Rules: A Statewide Study of How School Discipline Relates to Students' Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement, [PDF] The Council of State Governments Justice Center. July, 2011. "Nearly six in ten public school students studied were suspended or expelled at least once between their seventh- and twelfth-grade school years."

Monday, August 24 2015:

  • Correctional Health Care: Addressing the Needs of Elderly, Chronically Ill, and Terminally Ill Inmates, [PDF] National Institute of Corrections. 2004. "While 50 may seem young to be classified as elderly in the free world, several important factors seem to speed the aging process for those in prison."

Thursday, August 20 2015:

  • Louisiana's Debtors Prisons: An Appeal to Justice, [PDF] ACLU of Louisiana. August, 2015. "The ACLU of Louisiana (“ACLU”) investigated the imposition and collection of fines, fees and court costs or other legal financial obligations (LFOs) in twelve parishes and two cities from across Louisiana."

Wednesday, August 19 2015:

  • Unlocking Potential: Results of a National Survey of Postsecondary Education in State Prisons, Institute for Higher Education Policy. May, 2011. "Approximately 71,000 persons (roughly 6 percent of the total incarcerated population in responding states) are enrolled in vocational or academic postsecondary education programs in prisons for the 2009-10 academic year."
  • Mass Probation: Toward a More Robust Theory of State Variation in Punishment, [PDF] University of Minnesota. July, 2014. "As a consequence, imprisonment rates became less reflective of states’ overall supervision rates."
  • Fishkill Correctional Facility: 2012, [PDF] Correctional Association of New York. December, 2013. "Despite these positive aspects, the Visiting Committee was disturbed to observe so many people at Fishkill who were so physically and/or cognitively impaired that there no longer seemed to be any justifiable reason to keep them in prison."

Monday, August 17 2015:

  • Shadow Report of The Sentencing Project to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Regarding Racial Disparities in the United States Criminal Justice System, Sentencing Project. July, 2014. (Our report documents continuing disparities in incarceration, the imposition of juvenile life without parole, the death penalty, and felony disenfranchisement.)
  • Juvenile Life Without Parole: An Overview, Sentencing Project. April, 2014. (Still, the United States stands alone as the only nation that sentences people to life without parole for crimes committed before turning 18.)
  • Slow to Act: State Responses to 2012 Supreme Court Mandate on Life Without Parole, Sentencing Project. June, 2014. (While the Court struck down laws in 28 states that mandated life without parole, only 13 of those states have passed new sentencing laws.)
  • Recidivism of Adult Sexual Offenders [PDF] Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. July, 2015. "The researchers found a sexual recidivism rate of 5.3 percent for the entire sample of sex offenders, based on an arrest during the 3-year followup period."
  • Poverty and Opportunity Profile: Americans with Criminal Records, Sentencing Project; Half in Ten. December, 2014. "As a result, between 70 million and 100 million--or as many as one in three Americans--have some type of criminal record."
  • Blackstrikes: A Study of the Racially Disparate Use of Preemptory Challenges by the Caddo Parish District Attorney's Office, [PDF] Reprieve Australia. August, 2015. "In short, over the course of a ten year period, Caddo parish prosecutors exercised peremptory challenges against black prospective jurors at more than three times the rate at which they exercised peremptory challenges against white prospective jurors."
  • A Stubborn Legacy: The Overwhelming Importance of Race in Jury Selection in 173 Post-Batson North Carolina Capital Trials, Michigan State University College of Law. 2012. "Over the twenty-year period we examined, prosecutors struck eligible black venire members at about 2.5 times the rate they struck eligible venire members who were not black."

Friday, August 14 2015:

  • The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Disposition Matrix: A Validation Study, [PDF] Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. February, 2014. "The recidivism rate of low risk to re-offend youth placed outside of the Disposition Matrix suggestions is 114% higher than the rate for low risk youth placed within the suggestions."
  • Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative: 2013 Annual Results Report Inter-Site Conference Summary, [PDF] The Annie E. Casey Foundation. 2014. "In the aggregate, sites reduced the number of youth detained on an average day by nearly 3,600 compared with pre-JDAI levels, a reduction of 44 percent."
  • A Decade of Bail Research in New York City [PDF] New York City Criminal Justice Agency, Inc.. August, 2012. "Defendants who are detained pretrial are more likely to be convicted, if convicted they are more likely to be sentenced to incarceration, and if incarcerated, their sentences are likely to be longer."
  • Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission: 2014 Annual Report, [PDF] Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission. December, 2014. "During FY2014, judges continued to agree with the sentencing guidelines recommendations in approximately 78% of the cases."
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