Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie Twitter Recap

by Sadie Gold-Shapiro, May 5, 2014

In preparation for this year’s Pi Day (3/14), Prison Policy Initiative released the report “Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie,” which features a graphic that answers the question “How many people are locked up in the United States?” The response has been overwhelming; to date, more than 3,300 people have liked the graphic on Facebook and more than 1,100 people around the world have tweeted about it on Twitter.

The graphic is the first of its kind to compile data from multiple sources in order to give an accurate count of the current incarcerated population of the United States. As Sara Mayeux, creator of the Prison Law Blog, tweets:

Rebecca McCray, a criminal justice writer and former ACLU staff member tweets:

The graph resonated with many major organizations, some with a focus on mass incarceration and prison policy, and others with a more general focus on activism and civil rights for all.

Many individuals involved in justice work also retweeted the report to a large audience of followers. Fellow Smith College alumna, Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black retweeted a link that connected PPI’s report to her own work regarding mass incarceration in the United States.

Niaz Kasravi, the director of NAACP’s Criminal Justice Program tweets:

After the graphic’s initial success in social media networks, the information in the report was analyzed and reported on by a wide range of news sources including The Economist, The Washington Post, The Week, and the American Legislator. These articles examine in depth the implications of the research and, as The Economist writes:

[T]he report, “underscores how naive it is to think of prisons as separate from the rest of society”, and how crucial it is to provide services inside that will help people once they get out—because with very few exceptions, inmates will eventually come out, and it is in society’s interest to ensure they need not be locked up again.

But it also underscores something we’ve written about before: America locks up too many people for too many things.

Be sure to check out the original report, if you haven’t already!

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