Beyond producing original research, the Prison Policy Initiative edits several databases to empower activists, journalists and policy makers to make effective criminal justice policy.
We don't provide legal assistance to incarcerated people, but we have produced the only up-to-date list of the organizations that do:
The Federal Communications Commission is considering regulating the prison and jail telephone industry. There are two huge dockets of material from families, advocates and telecommunications company lawyers. We made it all searchable.
"The Prison Policy Initiative's invaluable and unique FCC search tool helped us find the supporting documents we needed in order to make a compelling case for FCC prison phone regulation. With this tool, PPI has turned an ungainly database into a wealth of advocacy material to advance the movement to regulate the prison phone industry."
-Alex Friedmann, Associate Director of the Human Rights Defense Center (a co-founder of the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice)
Our prison gerrymandering project addresses how the Census Bureau's prison count distorts democracy and the redistricting process. The data we've collected and the tools we've built are critical to redistricting advocates and are useful in some other contexts as well:
Some of the most powerful exposés of the prison industry have come from individual journalists, and we're maximixing the impact of some of these stories by grouping them together in one place: