Beyond producing original research, the Prison Policy Initiative seeks to empower activists, journalists and policy makers to make effective criminal justice policy. This page seeks to fill the gap between the information that exists and the people who want to make informed decisions.
Written research & reports
- Research Clearinghouse: We catalog all of the empirical criminal justice research available on the internet for you right here. We also have an email newsletter for new clearinghouse updates.
- Our 2003 book, The Prison Index: Taking the Pulse of the Crime Control Industry, is a compilation of statistics about the U.S. criminal justice system that continues to be a useful quick reference guide for advocates, journalists and policymakers.
Visual data produced by the Prison Policy Initiative
- Graphs and charts produced by the Prison Policy Initiative for our reports and presentations are re-organized for re-use by you.
- Maps produced by the Prison Policy Initiative for our reports and presentations and ready for re-use by you.
- 50 state graph series: Incarceration Rates by Race, 2001
- 50 state graph series: Racial disparities in incarceration by state, 2000
We don't provide legal assistance to incarcerated people, but we have produced the only up-to-date list of the organizations that do:
- Legal resources for incarcerated people: law firms and organizations that provide free legal assistance to incarcerated people on civil (non-criminal) matters. We automatically remove entries that have not been re-confirmed by the organization within the last 12 months.
Geographic prison data
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:
- Tips, guides, and alternative formats (tabular, ESRI shapefile, Maptitude layer, GoogleEarth) for the Census Bureau's Advance Group Quarters Summary File.
- Our 2010 Census Correctional Facility Locator contains our annotations of the Census blocks that contain correctional facilities. (The 2000 version is still available).
- Historical correctional facility counts for state, federal and local facilities (2005, 2006 and 2010), and for state, federal and private prisons (June 30, 2000), federal prisons on (June 2, 2000), and local jails on (June 30, 1999). We also have a memo about correctional facilities built or expanded between the 2000 and 2010 Censuses.
Cataloguing the corrections industry
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:
- Bibliography of exposés of the American Correctional Association
- Bibliography of exposés of Corizon (formerly called Correctional Medical Services)
- We aren't journalists, but if you are interested in the prison telephone industry, our report The Price to Call Home: State-Sanctioned Monopolization in the Prison Phone Industry is the place to start.