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 17 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

Celebrating a year of fueling the criminal justice movement

Our just completed year was our most successful yet. Recap our victories and help us plan for more wins this year.

by Peter Wagner, November 8, 2016

We just released our 2015-2016 Prison Policy Initiative Annual Report, and I’m thrilled to share some highlights of our work with you. We had another great year of leading innovative campaigns while also strengthening the movement with long-absent data and resources.

thumbnails from Prison Policy Initiative 2015-2016 annual report

Part of what makes the Prison Policy Initiative unique is the way in which we analyze and present obscure or underutilized data to fill information gaps that are stalling the movement against mass incarceration. For example, detaining people because they are poor is an offensive idea, but it was difficult to prove that this is exactly what the American cash bail system does. This year, Bernadette Rabuy and Daniel Kopf were able to support this claim with evidence in our report Detaining the Poor: How money bail perpetuates an endless cycle of poverty and jail time by putting an obscure government dataset to good use. In addition, Aleks Kajstura and Russ Immarigeon wrote a report putting each state’s incarceration of women into global context and showing that even the most progressive U.S. states are out of step with the rest of the world.

We did all of this while continuing to achieve real change on our focused campaigns:

To assist us in our mission to continue fueling the movement against mass incarceration, we have grown and added two new full-time members to our team. As the organization grows, so do our financial needs. Generous contributions from funders and individual donors will allow us to complete exciting new reports (along with some much-needed updates to old ones) in the new year. We would love you to join these donors by making a one-time or monthly contribution to our work. And please know that any gifts we receive through the end of 2016 will be matched by other donors, so your generosity will be able to go twice as far.

Thank you for taking the time to celebrate this year’s success with us.

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

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