Justice, truth, and fairness are under attack
by Peter Wagner, November 29, 2016
Justice reform needs your support like never before. The good news is that after decades of prison growth, the public is starting to embrace criminal justice reform. The bad news is that we just elected a "law and order" President who says that crime is at record heights. (The truth is that crime is just off from a historic low.)
Our work just got harder, especially at the federal level. But there are many opportunities for change at the state level where most of the prisons are.
The Prison Policy Initiative excels at finding the missing data that is holding back criminal justice reform in the states. This year we:
- Produced a report, States of Incarceration: The Global Context, that showed that every state — even the “progressive” states — use incarceration far more than the other nations of the world.
- Broadened the movement’s scope by putting the numbers on the size of each state’s probation population. Our report, Correctional Control, showed that probation, intended as an alternative to incarceration, now reaches almost twice as many people as the prison and jail systems.
- Unlocked rare government data to show that the ability to pay money bail is impossible for too many defendants because it represents eight months of a typical defendant’s income. Detaining the Poor also showed how much harder it is for women and people of color to afford bail.
These reports have reshaped the debate around criminal justice reform in this country. A small group of individual donors made these reports — and our legislative victories — possible. To continue this fight, we need your help. Can you make a gift to support our work today?
As a bonus, a group of donors will match the first $30,000 that we receive from this appeal. So any gift you can make will automatically go twice as far.
Thank you for taking a stand for justice, fairness, and truth at this time when all three are under attack.