I need your help. I co-founded the Prison Policy Initiative to put the problem of mass incarceration — and the perverse incentives that fuel it — on the national agenda. Over the last 16 years, our campaigns have protected our democracy from the prison system and protected the poorest families in this country from the predatory prison telephone industry. Our reports untangle the statistics and recruit new allies.

But now, more than ever, we need your help to put data & compassion into the conversation. Any gift you can make today will be matched by other donors and go twice as far.

Thank you.
—Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate

Prison Expansion Won’t Aid Local Economy

Letter to the editor in the Hartford Courant by Peter Wagner pointing out that government facilities such as prisons do not pay property taxes.

by Peter Wagner, August 1, 2002

To the editor of the Hartford Courant:

Your story “Study Of Prison Project Impact Promised” reports that 6
residents spoke out at Somers Town Hall on Wednesday against a proposed
prison expansion, and only one in support. That resident said the town
needed “money for our tax base”. Unfortunately for the town of Somers,
government facilities like prisons don’t pay property taxes.

According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics Report released on Tuesday, the
number of state prisoners nationally is declining. Connecticut is alone
among its neighbors in continuing to add to its prison population. As other
states are learning, sentencing reform and reducing the number of prisoners
eliminates the need for expensive new prisons and makes limited state
dollars available to communities for more productive development projects.

Peter Wagner
Prison Policy Initiative
Springfield, MA
August 1, 2002

Peter Wagner is Executive Director of the Prison Policy Initiative. (Other articles | Full bio | Contact)

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