2013 has been our best year yet! Can you support us for 2014?
From ending prison gerrymandering to protecting families from exploitative prison phone companies, 2013 has been a watershed year for the Prison Policy Initiative.
by Peter Wagner, November 27, 2013
As we head into Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends, here at the Prison Policy Initiative we’re taking this opportunity to celebrate how much we’ve achieved in the past year and express our enormous gratitude to our colleagues and supporters who make it all possible. As our new annual report shows, this year we’ve accomplished more than ever on a growing number of campaigns. Here are some highlights:
- Our work to end prison gerrymandering sparked legislation in eight states and passed in two, more than 200 local governments have solved the problem on their own, and the issue got news coverage in hundreds of articles and editorials including a New York Times editorial. And the Census Bureau, which encourages states to engage in prison gerrymandering by counting incarcerated people at correctional facilities, is finally signaling that it is open to changing the practice.
- This year we took on the exploitative prison phone industry, releasing two reports and a video, and co-coordinating a petition that changed the pace of the movement for fair phone charges for the families of incarcerated people. In August, after ten years of inaction, the Federal Communications Commission finally voted to regulate the industry so that families will no longer have to pay $1/minute to stay in touch with incarcerated loved ones.
- We also stepped up to the plate to bring an end to the latest harmful fad in local jails: banning letters from home. Our groundbreaking report on why banning families from writing to loved ones in jail is harmful and counterproductive was called “required reading” by the National Institute of Corrections, and helped a grassroots campaign in Santa Clara California halt the local sheriff’s letter ban proposal.
- Our work to reduce the harm of over-broad geography-based sentencing policies helped win some important victories this year, including a legal victory for improved sentencing practice in Massachusetts, and overturning a counterproductive banishment ordinance in a Colorado city.
- Our Research Clearinghouse of empirical criminal justice research is larger than ever, and our Legal resource list for incarcerated people continues to offer up-to-date information to those who need it.
As you can see, we’ve been busier than ever this year to expose and ameliorate the broader harm of mass incarceration. But none of this would be possible without the support of a core group of individual donors and a handful of committed foundations. Can you make a tax-deductible donation to support our work so that we can take full advantage of this incredible momentum in 2014? Every gift we receive before the end of the year will be matched by a generous group of donors, so your gift will go twice as far.
And finally, please stay in touch with us this year! You can drop us a line at any time, we’ve added two new e-newsletters you can use to keep track of what we’re up to (sign up for one or all at at http://www.prisonpolicy.org), and you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Thank you for your partnership in this movement!