HELP US END MASS INCARCERATION
The Prison Policy Initiative uses research, advocacy, and organizing to dismantle mass incarceration. We’ve been in this movement for 20 years, thanks to individual donors like you.
Can you help us sustain this work?
Peter Wagner, Executive Director
Articles by Leah Wang
- Prisons are a daily environmental injustice
On Earth Day, many people contemplate past and future demands for clean air, clean water, and protected landscapes. But society’s calls for a healthier environment rarely extend to incarcerated people, many of whom are confined in toxic detention facilities. We recap some aspects of how prisons leave both people and planet worse off.
Apr 20, 2022
- New data on formerly incarcerated people’s employment reveal labor market injustices
Newly released data doubles down on what we’ve reported before: Formerly incarcerated people face huge obstacles to finding stable employment, leading to detrimental society-wide effects. Considering the current labor market, there may be plenty of jobs available, but they don’t guarantee stability or economic mobility for this vulnerable population.
Feb 8, 2022
- Research roundup: The positive impacts of family contact for incarcerated people and their families
The research is clear: visitation, mail, phone, and other forms of contact between incarcerated people and their families have positive impacts for everyone — including better health, reduced recidivism, and improvement in school. Here’s a roundup of over 50 years of empirical study, and a reminder that prisons and jails often pay little more than lip service to the benefits of family contact.
Dec 21, 2021
- Recent studies shed light on what reproductive “choice” looks like in prisons and jails
States that are otherwise hostile to abortion rights are especially likely to make it difficult for incarcerated people.
Dec 8, 2021
- The U.S. criminal justice system disproportionately hurts Native people: the data, visualized
We’re lucky when criminal justice data is broken down by race and ethnicity enough to see how Native populations are criminalized and incarcerated. Here’s a roundup of what we know.
Oct 8, 2021
- Unsupportive environments and limited policies: Pregnancy, postpartum, and birth during incarceration
Making up for a serious gap in government data collection and understanding, researchers are discovering what pregnant incarcerated women should expect when they’re expecting (or when they give birth while in custody). Findings indicate that jails, prisons, and youth facilities have yet to adequately recognize pregnancy and postpartum needs either in policy or in practice.
Aug 19, 2021
- Rise in jail deaths is especially troubling as jail populations become more rural and more female
New data show record high deaths of people locked up in jail, as jail populations have shifted toward smaller, rural jails and growing numbers of women. A lack of accountability and acknowledgement of women’s unique disadvantages all but ensures more deaths to come.
Jun 23, 2021
- New data: State prisons are increasingly deadly places
New data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that state prisons are seeing alarming rises in suicide, homicide, and drug and alcohol-related deaths.
Jun 8, 2021