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. With a lot of hard work and generous support from a small network of individual donors, 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.

Through the end of 2014, your contribution to our work will stretch twice as far thanks to a match commitment from a small group of other donors like you.

I thank you for your investment in our work towards a more just tomorrow.
—Peter
... (read more) (read less)

International Incarceration Comparisons

  • (New) Presumption of Guilt: The Global Overuse of Pretrial Detention, [PDF]
    Open Society Justice Initiative, September, 2014
    “The present global cohort of 3.3 million pretrial detainees will collectively spend an estimated 660 million days in detention-a terrible waste of human potential that comes at a considerable cost to states, taxpayers, families, and communities.”
  • States of Incarceration The Global Context,
    Prison Policy Initiative, June, 2014
    “While there are certainly important differences between how U.S. states handle incarceration, placing each state in a global context reveals that incarceration policy in every region of this country is out of step with the rest of the world.”
  • World Prison Population List (tenth edition), [PDF]
    International Centre for Prison Studies, November, 2013
    “This tenth edition of the World Prison Population List gives details of the number of prisoners held in 222 independent countries and dependent territories.”
  • Sentencing and Prison Practices in Germany and the Netherlands: Implications for the United States, [PDF]
    Vera, October, 2013
    “Many countries in Northern Europe - such as Germany and the Netherlands - have significantly lower incarceration rates and make much greater use of non-custodial penalties, particularly for nonviolent crimes.”
  • International Growth Trends in Prison Privatization [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, August, 2013
    “Prison privatization is most concentrated and most fully privatized in a handful of predominantly English-speaking countries. These include Australia, Scotland, England and Wales, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States.”
  • Death Sentences and Executions 2012 [PDF]
    Amnesty International, April, 2013
    “While at least 682 people were executed in 2012 - in 2011, 680 executions were recorded - the number of people recorded as sentenced to death fell from 1,923 (in 63 countries) in 2011 to 1,722 (in 58 countries) in 2012.”
  • Reducing the use of imprisonment What can we learn from Europe?, [PDF]
    Criminal Justice Alliance, May, 2012
    “One of the most dramatic changes in prison numbers over the last few years has been experienced by the Netherlands. Germany, too, has seen a significant reduction in use of custody.”
  • World Prison Population List (ninth edition), [PDF]
    International Centre for Prison Studies, April, 2012
    “Prison populations have risen in 78% of countries: in 71% of countries in Africa, 82% in the Americas, 80% in Asia, 74% in Europe and 80% in Oceania.”
  • Voting Behind Bars: An Argument for Voting by Prisoners Marc Mauer, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, June, 2011
    “The extreme nature of U.S. disenfranchisement policies can be seen in the fact that to the extent there is debate about this issue elsewhere, the only significant distinction is whether any restrictions at all should be placed on people [w/ convictions].”
  • Racial Disparities in Criminal Court Processing in the United States
    Sentencing Project, December, 2007
    “[This report] offers input regarding the nation's compliance, and need to reform current criminal justice practices and was submitted to the United Nations' Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.”
  • The Whitaker Committee Report 20 Years On - Lessons Learned or Lessons Forgotten?, [PDF]
    Irish Penal Reform Trust, July, 2007
    “It seems that it is not just the penal system, but the whole social system, that needs attention...”
  • World Prison Population List (Eighth Edition), [PDF]
    Roy Walmsley, International Centre for Prison Studies, King's College London, February, 2007
    “Over 9.8 million people are incarcerated, with over 30% held in the Unites States.”
  • US Rates of Incarceration: A Global Perspective, [PDF]
    National Council on Crime and Delinquency, November, 2006
    “Some individual US states imprison up to six times as many people as do.”
  • Jails in Indian Country, 2004 [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, November, 2006
    “At midyear 2004 jails in Indian country held 1,745 inmates; 39% of inmates were confined for a violent offense.”
  • World Female Imprisonment List (Women and girls in penal institutions, including pre-trial detainees/remand prisoners), [PDF]
    International Centre for Prison Studies, King's College, September, 2006
    “More than half a million women and girls are held in penal institutions throughout the world... [a]bout a third of these are in the United States of America.”
  • Welfare and Punishment: The relationship between welfare spending and imprisonment, [PDF]
    Crime and Society Foundation, 2006
    “[W]e find that countries that spend a greater proportion of GDP on welfare have lower imprisonment rates and that this relationship has become stronger over the last 15 years.”
  • Correctional Officers and Their First Year: An Empirical Investigation, [PDF]
    Correctional Service of Canada, November, 2005
    (Part 3 in a 3-Part report series following Canadian Correctional Officers through training and first year on the job.)
  • Correctional Officer Recruits During the College Training Period: An Examination, [PDF]
    Correctional Service of Canada, October, 2005
    “[A]n interest in interpersonal relations appears to be the best motivation for anyone wishing to engage in correctional work.”
    (Part 2 in a 3-Part report series following Canadian Correctional Officers through training and first year on the job.)
  • World Prison Population List 6th Edition, [PDF]
    International Centre for Prison Studies, June, 2005
  • Cross-National Studies in Crime and Justice [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, September, 2004
  • Correctional Officer Recruits and the Prison Environment: A Research Framework, [PDF]
    Correctional Service of Canada, January, 2004
    “This study is based... on ground-breaking, large-scale research, which is a first in this corrections related field.”
    (Part 1 in a 3-Part report series following Canadian Correctional Officers through training and first year on the job.)
  • World Prison Population List: Fifth Edition, [PDF]
    Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate, January, 2004
  • Comparative International Rates of Incarceration: An Examination of Causes and Trends, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, June, 2003
    (presented to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights)
  • World Prison Population List (Fourth Edition), [PDF]
    Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate, February, 2003
  • International Comparisons of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000 [PDF]
    Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate, July, 2002
  • World Prison Population List [PDF]
    Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate, February, 2002
    (third edition)
  • World Report 2002
    Human Rights Watch, 2002
    (focuses on issues and legal developments rather than statistics)
  • World Prison Brief
    International Centre for Prison Studies, November, 2001
  • International Comparisons of Criminal Justice Statistics, 1999 [PDF]
    Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate, June, 2001
  • Victimisation in Seventeen Industrialised Countries: Key-findings from the 2000 international Crime Victims Survey, [PDF]
    the Hague, Ministry of Justice, 2000
    (Full text not available for download. See entry in Nat'l Criminal Justice Ref. Service for bibliographical info. https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=187198)
  • World Prison Population List (second edition) [PDF]
    Roy Walmsley, Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate, 2000
  • Crime and Justice in the United States and in England and Wales, 1981-96 [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, October, 1998
  • German and American Prosecutions: An Approach to Statistical Comparison, [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, February, 1998
    “charging, conviction, and sentencing rates for selected crimes”
  • Driving Forces Behind Prison Growth: The Mass Media,
    Thomas Mathiesen, Professor of Sociology of Law at the University of Oslo, February, 1996
    “Today, rationality is limited to 'the secluded corners of the professional journals and meetings' while the media flood the public debate 'with dire warnings by the police and sensational crime stories.'”
  • Profile of Inmates in the U.S. and in England and Wales, 1991 [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, October, 1994
  • Americans Behind Bars The International Use of Incarceration, 1992-93, [PDF]
    The Sentencing Project, 1994

Pages Updated On: 29-Sep-2014 - 12:47:03
Links Engine 2.0 By: Gossamer Threads Inc.