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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

by Peter Wagner, February 10, 2005

The Real Cost of Prisons Project, which does innovative popular education workshops on criminal justice issues, has completed the first of the comic books based on one of their workshops. comic book coverPrison Town: Paying the Price by Kevin Pyle and Craig Gilmore tells one story of the way in which the financing and siting of prisons and jails impact the people and economies of rural communities where prisons are built. It tells a parallel story of the damage done to people in urban communities by mass incarceration. Included is a two page “map” of How Prison Are Paid For (and who really pays?) as well as alternatives to the current system. It’s available on the web now in PDF and will be out in print in March 2005.

Other comic books being prepared for release later this spring are Prisoners of the War on Drugs and Prisoners of a Hard Life: Women and Children. Organizations can order up to 300 copies of each comic book for use in their own organizing, community education and outreach work for free, merely by explaining how they would use the books. See the instructions on the Real Cost of Prisons comics page.

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