Beyond producing original research, the Prison Policy Initiative edits several databases to empower activists, journalists and policy makers to make effective criminal justice policy.
Written research & reports
- Research Clearinghouse: virtually all of the empirical criminal justice research available on the internet catalogued right here. (We also offer an email newsletter (at right) for the Research Clearinghouse updates.)
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.
FCC filings on prison phone justice
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.
- Unlocking Prison Phone Data: Searchable versions of the FCC dockets 96-128 and 12-375.
"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)
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:
- Our 2010 Census Correctional Facility Locator contains our annotations of the Census blocks that contain correctional facilities. (The 2000 version is still available).
- Tips, guides, and alternative formats (tabular, ESRI shapefile, Maptitude layer, GoogleEarth) for the Census Bureau's Advance Group Quarters Summary File.
- 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.