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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, December 13, 2006

We are now accepting applications from law and graduate students for summer internships and our Alternative Spring Break program.


by Peter Wagner, November 12, 2006

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Georgia Sheriffs were some of the biggest opponents of HB1059 because the law made enforcement so impractical that it left their communities less safe than they would have been without it.

States and cities are passing poorly considered laws that restrict where people labeled as sex offenders can live. These laws result in banishing people on the sex offender registries from whole regions at great harm to civil liberties and public safety. We’ve added some maps prepared over the summer for litigation in Georgia and Massachusetts and Peter Wagner’s affidavit in the Massachusetts case.


by Peter Wagner, November 6, 2006

Writing in Slate, Andrew Marantz calls how the U.S. Census counts people in prison the The Five-Fifths Clause.


by Peter Wagner, October 29, 2006

Thehim at DailyKos uses our new interactive tool to discuss the political implications of counting prisoners in: Drug War Roundup.


by Peter Wagner, October 24, 2006

Blog Reload uses our new interactive tool to write about how the Census Bureau’s method of counting prisoners as prison town residents results in Prison-based Gerrymandering


by Peter Wagner, October 23, 2006

Scott Henson blogs about our new research tool in Census counts prisoners as rural residents on Grits for Breakfast.


by Peter Wagner, October 21, 2006

The League of Women Voters of Dallas has written a Dallas Morning News editorial Prisoner data fix would restore equal access calling for the state of Texas to adjust Census data to count people in prison at their home addresses. In 2004, we released Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in Texas documenting the distortion the Census Bureau is causing in each legislative district in the state.


by Peter Wagner, October 20, 2006

The New York Times‘ Clyde Haberman cites our research in this great column Fresh Insights for Albany, Gleaned Behind Bars available only in print and to TimesSelect subscribers.


by Peter Wagner, October 14, 2006

Ben Greenberg blogs that the Census Bureau’s Own Study Says Bureau Should Stop Miscounting Prisoners, on Hungry Blues


by Peter Wagner, October 3, 2006

movie thumbnailFighting for Life in the Death-Belt, a new documentary film narrated by Ani Difranco, will have its New York City premiere on the October 14th at the Kaufmann Concert Hall at the 92nd Street Y.

The film considers the controversial institution of capital punishment in America through the eyes of Stephen Bright, the nation’s leading anti-death penalty lawyer. For twenty years Bright has defended death row inmates deep in the heart of America’s “death-belt” — the Southeastern States where 90% of executions occur.

There he has built the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR), a renowned public interest law firm.The film follows Bright and the SCHR in the final days and hours, as they desperately fight to spare two clients from execution. Although both men stand convicted of horrible crimes, these defense attorneys never waiver in their dedication, and present compelling arguments against the criminal justice system that seeks to end their clients’ lives.

The event is a benefit for the Stephen Bright Fellowship at the Southern Center for Human Rights.

[Editor’s note, July 7, 2014: the full film is now available here.]

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