Articles by Peter Wagner
Prison Policy Initiative Executive Director Peter Wagner (full bio)
- Since you asked: Can correctional facilities negotiate phone contracts that prohibit deposit fees? (Yes! Many do.)
We review the evidence and find 15 states that said no to unnecessary fees. Who will be next?
Nov 20, 2020
- Prison Policy Initiative asked California Public Utilities Commission to cap the cost of calling home from California jails
Yesterday, the Prison Policy Initiative filed comments before the California Public Utility Commission, calling for it to reduce the cost of calling home from California....
Nov 10, 2020
- Jails and prisons have reduced their populations in the face of the pandemic, but not enough to save lives
Our updated analysis finds that the initial efforts to reduce jail populations have slowed, while the small drops in state prison populations are still too little to save lives.
Aug 5, 2020
- A legislative guide for winnable, high-impact criminal justice reforms
We list some high-impact policy ideas for state legislators looking to reform their criminal justice system without making it bigger.
Jun 10, 2020
- While jails drastically cut populations, state prisons have released almost no one
Our updated analysis finds that jails are responding to the unprecedented public health crisis by rapidly dropping their populations. In contrast, state prisons have barely budged.
May 14, 2020
- While jails drastically cut populations, state prisons have released almost no one
Our analysis finds that jails are responding to the unprecedented public health crisis by rapidly dropping their populations. In contrast, state prisons have barely budged.
May 1, 2020
- How prepared are state prison systems for a viral pandemic?
We sent state prison systems a 5-question survey, and the answers – largely – are not encouraging.
Apr 10, 2020
- Large scale releases and public safety
Can governments safely release hundreds or thousands of people from prison? We offer 14 historical examples to show that, in fact, they already have.
Apr 9, 2020
- Five ways the criminal justice system could slow the pandemic
We offer five areas where quick action could slow the spread of the viral pandemic in prisons and jails and in society as a whole.
Mar 27, 2020
- No need to wait for pandemics: The public health case for criminal justice reform
We offer five examples of policies that could slow the spread of a viral pandemic in prisons and jails - and would mitigate the everyday impact of incarceration on public health.
Mar 6, 2020
- “What percent of the U.S. is incarcerated?” (And other ways to measure mass incarceration)
Nearly one out of every 100 people in the United States is in a prison or jail.
Jan 16, 2020
- Will the Postal Service ignore its most vulnerable customers?
The Prison Policy Initiative submits a comment letter calling on the USPS to stop rounding up postage costs and to remember that low-income incarcerated people are reliant on the postal service for communication.
Oct 29, 2019
- A year of important victories at the Prison Policy Initiative
We've had an incredibly productive year. In our new annual report, we share the highlights.
Oct 17, 2019
- The biggest priorities for prison and jail phone justice in 40 states
High prison rates, high jail rates, high first minute charges, and more
Sep 11, 2019
- Prison Policy Initiative files objections to unreasonable jail phone rates, asks Iowa Utilities Board to protect families
At a time when phone calls for the rest of us cost almost nothing, there is no reason to force the poorest families in Iowa to pay outlandish rates.
Apr 26, 2019
- On kickbacks and commissions in the prison and jail phone market
Phone providers are so creative in their influence-peddling that the most viable reform strategies do not focus only on "commissions."
Feb 11, 2019
- Timeline: The 18-year battle for prison phone justice
The fight to make prison and jail phone calls affordable began in 2000. For those wondering "why is this taking so long?", here are the key dates.
Dec 17, 2018
- Our most important successes over the last year
We've had an incredibly productive year. In our new annual report, we share the highlights.
Nov 29, 2018
- Mujahid Farid dies at 69
Mujahid Farid, the founding organizer of a campaign to reduce the number of elderly and infirm people in New York State prisons, died yesterday at 69. His Release Aging....
Nov 21, 2018
- How to spot the hidden costs in a “no-cost” tablet contract
There's no such thing as a free lunch - or a free tablet.
Jul 24, 2018
- New York City to make all calls from jail free
New York City becomes the first jurisdiction to make calls home from jails free. Who else is going to follow this smart step?
Jul 19, 2018
- Incremental declines can’t erase mass incarceration
Mass incarceration grew at breakneck speed, year after year. Our reforms need to be equally ambitious.
Jun 5, 2018
- Our favorite data visualizations of 2017
2017 was another big year for powerful data visualizations from the Prison Policy Initiative. These are our 9 favorites.
Dec 29, 2017
- Reviewing our work over the last year
We publish our new annual report.
Nov 13, 2017
- Prison phone giant GTL gets bigger, again.
GTL has purchased competitor Telmate, meaning higher prices for families and facilities. We examine GTL and Securus domination of the industry.
Aug 28, 2017
- Bi-partisan legislation introduced to end the automatic suspension of driver’s licenses for drug offenses
Proposed legislation would undo one of the Drug War's worst ideas, and would undo it at its source -- Congress.
Apr 7, 2017
- Court hears industry lawsuit against FCC regulation of prison and jail telephone industry
We explain what's next and what the families can expect on telephone justice.
Feb 8, 2017
- New report reveals who pays for and who benefits from mass incarceration
In a first-of-its-kind report, the Prison Policy Initiative aggregates economic data to offer a big picture view of who pays for and who benefits from mass incarceration.
Jan 25, 2017
- Our best data visualizations in 2016
2016 was another big year for powerful data visualizations from the Prison Policy Initiative. These are our 10 favorites.
Dec 30, 2016
- Website improvements, new resources
Aside from our recent reports, we have several new additions to our website worth highlighting.
Dec 28, 2016
- Winnable justice reform ideas for 2017
Eleven ideas for criminal justice reforms that are ripe for legislative victory in 2017.
Dec 28, 2016
- NYT review: ‘How Propaganda Works’ Is a Timely Reminder for a Post-Truth Age
Jason Stanley's book -- the royalties of which support the Prison Policy Initiative -- is needed more now than ever.
Dec 27, 2016
- Congress and NPR tackle phone justice and video visitation this week
NPR covers video visitation, and reform legislation is introduced in Congress.
Dec 8, 2016
- Justice reform needs your support
Can you help us raise $80,000 by the end of the year?
Dec 8, 2016
- Justice, truth, and fairness are under attack
Please support our work this Giving Tuesday.
Nov 29, 2016
- 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.
Nov 8, 2016
- Prison Policy Initiative honored to receive the Paul H. Chapman award
On Saturday, I was honored to accept, on behalf of the Prison Policy Initiative, the Foundation for Improvement of Justice's Paul H. Chapman Award for our report and campaign to end Massachusetts' suspension of drivers licenses for unrelated drug offenses.
Sep 30, 2016
- Why do we lock up the innocent? 90 second explainer
Bill Newman takes on injustice 90 seconds at a time. In the newest episode of his Civil Liberties Minute podcast, he takes on the practice of locking up poor people because they can't afford bail.
Sep 27, 2016
- Off the Rails explores the criminal justice system’s one track mind
I recently had the opportunity to screen a new documentary, Off the Rails that tells the story of Darius McCollum: a man with Asperger’s syndrome whose overwhelming....
Jun 18, 2016
- Some private prisons are, um, public.
Private prisons get all the attention, but the hidden truth is that many county jails are profiting off incarceration too.
Jun 9, 2016
- Tallying the extent of the Clinton-era crime bills
Seven deadly sins: the problem with Bill Clinton's criminal justice legacy isn't one bill, or two or even three, but at least seven bills.
May 25, 2016
- How to remember the Prison Policy Initiative in your will
We share some suggested language.
Apr 26, 2016
- Merle Haggard dies at 79
Country music star Merle Haggard spent 49 years trying to convince this nation that discriminating against the formerly incarcerated is bad social policy.
Apr 6, 2016
- What families can expect from the new FCC rules
We explain what rates and fees to expect thanks to the FCC's October 2015 order and when for prisons and jails.
Mar 17, 2016
- New report, Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2016, pieces together systems of confinement and provides further detail about local jails
This Pi Day, the Prison Policy Initiative has an updated version of its mass incarceration pie chart, including more detail on jails and new infographic slideshows
Mar 14, 2016
- Welcome Alison Walsh!
Our newest staffer comes to us from the Fair Housing Council of Oregon and The Massachusetts Fair Housing Center.
Jan 28, 2016
- 2015’s Criminal Justice Victories
2015 was a year of big victories for the Prison Policy Initiative. Beyond a record number of ground-breaking reports, our campaigns won major policy changes.
Dec 29, 2015
- Our best data visualizations in 2015
2015 was another big year for ground-breaking data visualizations from the Prison Policy Initiative. These are our 10 favorites.
Dec 29, 2015
- Our favorite reports by our colleagues in 2015
Our colleagues helped build momentum for criminal justice reform by providing key research and proposing reforms that could help our nation reduce its overuse of incarceration. Our favorites from 2015.
Dec 29, 2015
- Our favorite news stories about our work in 2015
Earlier today, we published our list of the best investigative criminal justice journalism of 2015. Here at the Prison Policy Initiative we enjoy seeing journalists....
Dec 28, 2015
- Best investigative criminal justice journalism of 2015
As 2015 winds to a close, the Prison Policy Initiative wanted to recognize eight investigative news stories that brought public attention to key issues in criminal justice reform.
Dec 28, 2015
- Iowa Governor pledges to address cost of prison and jail phone calls
The Iowa Governor's Working Group On Justice Policy takes up our recommendations on phone justice.
Dec 28, 2015
- Winnable and under-discussed justice reform ideas for 2016
Eleven ideas for criminal justice reforms that are ripe for legislative victory.
Dec 21, 2015
- New report, Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2015, reveals 2.3 million people are locked up in the U.S. and why
U.S. locks up more than 2.3 million people in prisons, jails, and other facilities on any given day. New report provides foundation for long overdue conversation about criminal justice reform.
Dec 8, 2015
- Who is in jail? Deep dive
Jail churn and pre-trial detention are even more important than a quick look at the data suggests. Here, we correct for the fact that a sizable number of people are housed in jails for other agencies.
Dec 8, 2015
- Help us uncover the U.S. incarceration crisis
Can you make a gift today to fuel the movement to end mass incarceration?
Nov 30, 2015
- Prison profiteers use campaign contributions to buy contracts
How do the campaign contributions of the prison phone industry compare to those of the private prison industry?
Nov 25, 2015
- Prison Policy Initiative research displayed outside of Philadelphia City Hall
Sam Durant's installation "Labyrinth" in Philadelphia uses our research
Oct 30, 2015
- FCC passes order to regulate prison and jail telephone industry
The Federal Communications Commission today approved a new order regulating the prison and jail telephone industry and reducing the cost of calling home from prisons and jails
Oct 22, 2015
- Massachusetts Chief Justice Gants cites our research, calls for reform
Yesterday, the top judge in Massachusetts cited our research in his State of the Judiciary address. Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants made a strong....
Oct 21, 2015
- What can states do after the FCC has ruled?
We have two ideas for state legislative strategies to further reduce the cost of calling home from prisons and jails.
Oct 21, 2015
- Casting call: Protect the FCC’s regulation of the prison and jail telephone industry
Are you are a writer, actor or video person who cares about justice? We need to talk.
Oct 16, 2015
- Are private prisons driving mass incarceration?
Private prisons are more like a parasite on the publicly-owned prison system, not the root cause of mass incarceration.
Oct 7, 2015
- FCC commissioners reveal details of their proposal to protect all families of incarcerated people
Their proposal would give families the telephone justice they have been asking for.
Oct 1, 2015
- What would prison telephone justice look like?
What would effective state executive or legislative action for prison and jail telephone justice look like?
Sep 29, 2015
- New book available: Understanding Mass Incarceration by James Kilgore
James Kilgore's book Understanding Mass Incarceration: An Introduction to the Key Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time is available now.
Sep 24, 2015
- A year of propelling the criminal justice reform movement forward
Check out our 2014-2015 Annual Report for an overview of our year of leading campaigns and strengthening the movement
Sep 22, 2015
- John Oliver takes on the under-funding of the public defender system
John Oliver takes on the under-funding of the public defender system
Sep 18, 2015
- Help us stay one step ahead of the exploitative prison phone industry
Prison phone companies are sneaky but we've learned how to uncover their tricks. Will you help us stay one step ahead?
Sep 11, 2015
- Mass incarceration and the presidential candidates
Blaming the 1990s public for mass incarceration is too simple of an answer.
Sep 3, 2015
- Prison Policy Initiative helps overturn a harmful banishment ordinance in Massachusetts
Massachusetts top court says a city can't bar people on the sex offender registry from living in the city.
Sep 2, 2015
- Keynote address at Iowa Justice Summit
Links and other resources for attendees at the Iowa Justice Summit where I gave the keynote address on Friday.
Aug 31, 2015
- Prison industry vendors react to “prison reform” talk
David Segal in the New York Times investigates whether companies that sell things to prisons feel threatened by the talk of prison reform.
Aug 31, 2015
- Criminal justice reformer Jerome G. Miller passes away
Jerry Miller, known for closing Massachusetts's prisons for kids in 1972 and for book "Search and Destroy: African-American Males in the Criminal Justice System" dies at age 83.
Aug 17, 2015
- Jails matter. But who is listening?
Most of the people who go to prison or jail in a year go to jail, so why don't policymakers pay more attention to jails?
Aug 14, 2015
- Are campaign contributions the new “commission”? Analysis of Securus’s contributions in Sacramento
Why is Securus one of the largest campaign contributors to the Sacramento County Sheriff?
Aug 12, 2015
- Urban Institute publishes Prison Population Forecaster
New tool empowers the public to engage the policy choices needed to end mass incarceration. Statistics degree not required.
Aug 12, 2015
- Probation: The nicest sounding way to grease the skids of mass incarceration
Probation shouldn't be ignored: It's used too often and sets up too many people to fail.
Aug 11, 2015
- Using the federal budget to fuel decarceration
The 2016 presidential candidates shouldn't underestimate the federal budget's power to guide state justice policy.
Aug 10, 2015
- New report: The Racial Geography of Mass Incarceration
New report answers the question: to what degree do the people in prison in a given county resemble the people who live in the surrounding county?
Jul 15, 2015
- Uncovering Securus’ profits
Securus exemplifies the industry's obscene penchant for squeezing profits by fleecing their customers and shorting their business partners.
Jun 19, 2015
- The prison phone industry’s new business model: Fee Harvesting
Some of these companies call themselves phone companies, but the phone service is little more than a gimmick to charge expensive fees.
Jun 18, 2015
- In memory of Nils Christie, 1928-2015
Nils Christie, the world-renowned criminologist, a member of the Prison Policy Initiative advisory board, and one of my personal inspirations, passed away on May 27 at the age of 87.
Jun 9, 2015
- ICYMI: Explainers on bail and and private police
John Oliver & Dan Kopf explain bail; and Sally Herships on Marketplace explains the growth of private police.
Jun 8, 2015
- In Harvard Business Review: Audience Matters
The question isn't which data visualization technique is best; it's whether a visualization is even the best tool for the job.
May 31, 2015
- Two new ways to support us: Donate stock & shop at Amazon
You can now support PPI by donating stock or simply shopping at Amazon!
Mar 18, 2015
- The demographics of computer ownership and high-speed internet access
The poor, the elderly, and African-Americans and Latinos are less likely to have computers or high-speed internet at home. Replacing regular jail visits with computer video chats is a bad idea.
Mar 17, 2015
- John Oliver takes on judicial elections
John Oliver on HBO Tonight explains judicial elections and explains how that hurts our justice system. (Warning: NSFW for language.)
Feb 25, 2015
- New Study: Maryland taxpayers spend $288 million a year to incarcerate people from Baltimore City
Groundbreaking report maps incarceration and spending, suggests more effective alternative investments
Feb 25, 2015
- Prison and Jail Video Visitation: A forward-looking idea implemented badly
New Prison Policy Initiative report finds video visitation actually punishes families
Jan 14, 2015
- Six briefings on prison telephone justice
On Monday evening, we submitted 6 major briefings on the need to regulate the prison and jail telephone industry to the Federal Communications Commission.
Jan 14, 2015
- Eric Lotke talks about his new novel and the need for prison phone justice
In this new video, our Board President, Eric Lotke talks about his new novel, Making Manna and the connection to the struggle for prison phone justice and the Prison....
Dec 29, 2014
- Our best data visualizations in 2014
Our six favorite data visualizations from Prison Policy Initiative reports in 2014.
Dec 29, 2014
- 2014’s Criminal Justice Victories
With 2014 drawing to a close, we review our biggest wins. Thank you for helping us come so far!
Dec 24, 2014
- Our favorite news stories about our work in 2014
Today, we share the most important news stories of 2014 that we played a role in
Dec 23, 2014
- Best investigative criminal justice journalism of 2014
As 2014 winds to a close, the Prison Policy Initiative recognizes the eight sorely needed investigative news stories that did the most to bring public attention to criminal justice reform.
Dec 22, 2014
- Winnable and under-discussed justice reform ideas for 2015
Eight ideas for criminal justice reforms that are ripe for legislative victory.
Dec 22, 2014
- New video explains jail telephone industry’s hidden fees
One company produces a video explaining to Sheriffs how the status quo is bad for them.
Nov 25, 2014
- Dallas County approves video visitation contract
Today, in a partial reversal, the Dallas County Commissioners Court approved a new contract with jail telephone giant Securus.
Nov 11, 2014
- FCC considers next steps to protect families from predatory prison and jail telephone industry.
We need your help now to counter the powerful prison phone lobby.
Oct 17, 2014
- Can you help us fuel the movement for justice reform?
Can you make a gift today and join the Individual donors who are fueling the movement for justice reform?
Oct 6, 2014
- 2013-2014 was a landmark year for the Prison Policy Initiative!
We just released our 2013-2014 Prison Policy Initiative Annual Report, which I'm thrilled to say details greater progress on more fronts than ever before. A combination....
Sep 29, 2014
- Letter: Ionia County postcard-only jail mail policy should be canceled
Ionia County Jail in Michigan to ban letters from home starting today. What a horrible idea.
Sep 28, 2014
- FCC Commissioners are proposing to protect families from in-state prison phone gouging
Two commissioners circulate a proposal that would extend last year's historic ruling protecting some families from the predatory prison and jail telephone industry.
Sep 25, 2014
- Meeting new board members: Rachel Bloom
Rachel Bloom, Director of Membership and Special Projects, Funders' Committee for Civic Participation , shares her thoughts on her work and why she joined PPI's board.
Sep 22, 2014
- Thank you CharitySub!
In March, we were honored to be one of the three charities chosen by CharitySub as one of three organizations addressing the prison epidemic. We report back.
Sep 19, 2014
- New BJS figures show that mass incarceration is getting bigger
New report serves as a sobering reminder that state-level criminal justice policy decisions are continuing to ensure that our nation remains the top incarcerator in the world.
Sep 16, 2014
- What’s wrong with this picture? Elderly people in NY’s prisons
While New York State's prison population has been dropping overall as a result of number of significant reforms, one group being left quite literally behind is the....
Sep 12, 2014
- Dallas County rejects Securus video visitation contract!
Dallas County tells Securus: No we won't end visiting hours at jail and require expensive video visitation instead.
Sep 9, 2014
- Dallas Texas to consider banning free in-person visits, requiring expensive video visits instead
Later this morning, Dallas County Texas will vote on a new telephone contract with Securus that will also ban free in-person visits and require families to pay for video....
Sep 9, 2014
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Ferguson, MO and Police Militarization
On Sunday, John Oliver did an amazing piece about Ferguson, Missouri and the effects of the unnecessary militarization of the police. (Warning: NSFW for language.) See....
Aug 19, 2014
- David Carliner Award presentation
The American Constitution Society has posted the video (and some pictures) from my remarks accepting the David Carliner Award.
Aug 12, 2014
- John Oliver takes on the U.S. prison system
Awesome piece with one small mistake on the difference between prisons and jails.
Aug 4, 2014
- Eddie Ellis, 1941-2014
Remembering Edwin "Eddie" Ellis.
Jul 25, 2014
- FCC hears how high cost of calls can end parental rights
David Carliner Award Finalist Barbara Graves-Poller tells the FCC that New York prison phonecall price gouging routinely causes people to lose their parental rights.
Jul 24, 2014
- Alabama to rein in third-party payment profit sharing in prison telephone industry
Alabama’s new rules will force prison phone industry to end kickbacks from Western Union/MoneyGram.
Jul 21, 2014
- New video takes on War on Drug’s worst idea: Sentencing Enhancement Zones
Our new video explains that sentencing enhancement zone laws (a.k.a. school zone laws) do not work and will never work.
Jun 30, 2014
- New infographic: How does your state’s use of the prison compare to the nations of the world?
How does your state compare to the international community when it comes to the use of incarceration? Not very well, says a new infographic and report by the Prison Policy Initiative and data artist Josh Begley.
Jun 11, 2014
- Why is West Virginia the federal prison capital of the country?
Senator Robert Byrd’s passion for pork was legendary, and his love for prison-flavored pork helped fuel the record breaking growth in the federal prison population.
Jun 10, 2014
- Welcome Bernadette Rabuy!
Our newest staffer comes to us from the University of California, Berkeley, and has previously worked with National Council on Crime and Delinquency, Voice of the Ex-Offender, and Californians United for Responsible Budget.
May 30, 2014
- Three massive new briefings from the Prison Policy Initiative
316 graphs of state-by-state data on racial disparities and prison growth
May 28, 2014
- The Mothers Day Phone Rip-Off
This Mother's day, hundreds of thousands of kids won't be able to call their mothers, and if Mom calls them, those kids are going to have a hard time paying for the call if she calls them.
May 9, 2014
- Univ. of Illinois: Renew scholar and writer James Kilgore’s contract
I was saddened to learn that my friend and colleague James Kilgore, a scholar and writer on race and justice issues, was the subject of a series of attack pieces focused....
May 5, 2014
- We’re hiring!
Interested in joining the Prison Policy Initiative team? Now's your chance, because we're hiring!
May 1, 2014
- Congratulations Leah Sakala
Leah Sakala will be attending graduate school at Brandeis, and we are hiring a Policy and Communications Associate.
Apr 29, 2014
- John Green on mass incarceration, racial disparities and long sentence lengths
John Green responds to Hank's video about Mass Incarceration with his own insightful comments on racial disparities and why the U.S. has the world's highest incarceration rate.
Apr 11, 2014
- VlogBrothers video on Mass Incarceration
We're thrilled to have helped Hank Green of Vlog Brothers, Kurzgesagt, and Visual.ly produce this amazing under-4-minute video about Mass Incarceration in the United....
Apr 5, 2014
- CharitySub picks PPI to address the “prison epidemic”
The Prison Policy Initiative is thrilled to be chosen as one of three CharitySub organizations addressing this month’s “prison epidemic” theme.
Mar 3, 2014
- Today the FCC dragged the prison telephone industry kicking and screaming into the 21st century
The two largest prison phone companies, mislead correctional facilities and federal regulators by acting like communications technology is stuck in the 1950s.
Feb 11, 2014
- Congratulations Pam Karlan!
Stanford Law School professor and long time PPI Advisory Board member Pam Karlan will be moving on to defend voting rights in the Department of Justice.
Dec 23, 2013
- Honoring Nelson Mandela
Mandela was an inspiration to people fighting for freedom around the world, and one of the main inspirations for my own prison activism.
Dec 5, 2013
- 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.
Nov 27, 2013
- Meeting PPI board member: Drew Kukorowski
Drew Kukorowski, attorney at the Council for Children's Rights, shares how he began working with PPI and why he joined PPI's board.
Nov 21, 2013
- FCC prison phone regulation ruling published in Federal Register, to take effect Feb 11.
Companies and correctional facilities can no longer collude to profit off of keeping families apart.
Nov 13, 2013
- 171 years ago today, Dickens condemned solitary confinement
When Charles Dickens came to the United States, he wanted to see two things: Niagara Falls and Eastern State Penitentiary. He expected to be impressed with this radical....
Oct 19, 2013
- Michigan ACLU uses our map, testifies against harmful loitering bill
We produced a map to illustrate the ACLU’s testimony against a counterproductive zone law.
Oct 17, 2013
- Think U.S. indefinite detention just happens in Guantanamo? Think again.
Disturbing laws that allow state and federal governments to keep certain people convicted of sex offenses behind bars indefinitely.
Oct 2, 2013
- Honoring Johnny Cash’s prison reform activist legacy
Many honor Johnny Cash's contribution ton country music, but few know of his passionate advocacy for incarcerated people.
Sep 12, 2013
- Prison phone giant Securus cashes in, raises fees
While the FCC drags its feet on regulating the prison phone industry, the industry is wasting no time raking in the profits.
Sep 5, 2013
- PPI helps overturn a harmful banishment ordinance in Colorado
Peter Wagner was an expert witness in the case, finding that the ordinance essentially amounted to complete banishment from the city of Englewood.
Aug 23, 2013
- The Phone Corporations That Ruined Fathers Day
On Sunday, some families had to choose between wishing dad a Happy Father’s Day on the telephone and putting food on the table.
Jun 18, 2013
- Unlocking the FCC data at Hack for Western Mass
A team of civic-minded hackers in Western Massachusetts have built a tool to make it easier to access documents about the FCC proceeding on regulating the prison telephone industry.
Jun 3, 2013
- Thoughts on processing fees in the jail telephone industry
Some additional observations about prison phone fees, based on discussions we had with the phone companies after the report’s release.
May 29, 2013
- Our report leads two phone companies to clarify & improve policies
As a result of the report, at least two companies, Turnkey and NCIC, made several clarifications and improvements to their fee policies.
May 28, 2013
- Letter urging the Massachusetts Department of Corrections to not subject prison visitors to dog searches
The Massachusetts Department of Corrections should immediately cancel the plan to use dogs to screen visitors to correctional facilities
Mar 21, 2013
- Patting down the data on racial profiling in New York City
An analysis of racial disparity in NYC's stop and frisk numbers also reveals the diminishing returns of the policy.
May 10, 2012
- Trayvon Martin, Fear of Crime and Mass Incarceration
The vigilante ethos behind 'Stand Your Ground' has very little to do with legitimate fears of crime.
Mar 30, 2012
- Paul Rucker awarded grant to make more art about the parallels between slavery and mass incarceration.
Friend of Prison Policy Initiative artist Paul Rucker has been awarded a prestigious grant from Creative Capital to make more art about mass incarceration. His 2009....
Jan 27, 2012
- Rethinking Drug-Free School Zones
We added Maureen Turner's Valley Advocate article Rethinking Drug-Free School Zones: Gov. Patrick proposes changing a policy critics say is unfair and ineffective to our PPI in the News page and to the page about our sentencing enhancement zone work.
Feb 14, 2011
- Smart on Crime, letter to the editor
Letter to the editor of the Boston Herald in response to “Going soft on crime,” published Jan. 28 2011.
Feb 4, 2011
- PPI course at Smith College featured
Eric Weld has an article about Peter Wagner's course at Smith College: Interterm Course Focuses on U.S. Prison System in the Gate.
Jan 18, 2011
- Quoted in Patriot Ledger, Quincy Mass on state’s counter-productive plan to charge prisoners for their incarceration.
Peter Wagner is quoted in the Patriot Ledger regarding Mass.'s plan to bill prison inmates for room and board. Because most people in prison are poor, this....
May 9, 2010
- Paul Rucker piece profiled
Artist Paul Rucker's new installation, Proliferation, inspired by the map of U.S. Prison Proliferation, 1900-2000 by PPI's Rose Heyer was just reviewed in CityArts.
Feb 17, 2010
- New poster for NY
Added Most upstate counties with prisons agree: A prison cell is not a residence [PDF] to the New York organizing page.
Feb 14, 2010
- Radio archives expanded
We added links to recent radio interviews on WBAI, The Take Away and shows to our In the News page.
Jan 19, 2010
- Sane Sentencing in School Zones
Matt Kelley cites PPI's research on sentencing enhancement zones in a post saluting New Jersey's first-in-the-nation reform of these short-sighted laws.
Jan 15, 2010
- Valley Advocate honors us on best of 2009 list
The Valley Advocate honors us on a best of 2009 list.
Dec 31, 2009
- Nonprofit Voter Engagement Network Blog discusses our work
The Nonprofit Voter Engagement Network has twice featured our work on their blog in the last week or so. One article by George Pillsbury features our research on....
Nov 25, 2009
- Quoted in Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Peter Wagner is quoted in Pennsylvania inmates prepare to ship out in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Pennsylvania's failed parole policies have led to an overcrowding....
Nov 17, 2009
- Anamosa on Iowa Public Radio
Joyce Russell reports for Iowa Public Radio on the end of prison-based gerrymandering in Anamosa, where the first election without a district that is almost entirely....
Nov 3, 2009
- Dan Jenkins in Watertown Daily Times: Census must take prisoners into account
Writing in the Watertown Daily Times, Daniel Jenkins calls for the Census Bureau to report prison populations separately so that counties like Franklin County, NY, can....
Oct 20, 2009
- U.S., Wisconsin fast becoming a nation of prisoners
Max Davies cites our census research in a UW-Oshkosh Advance-Titan editorial: U.S., Wisconsin fast becoming a nation of prisoners.
Oct 9, 2009
- New report, coverage about Massachusetts
Maureen Turner writes about our new report released today, Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in Massachusetts in an excellent story in the Valley Advocate: The Prison Town Advantage: Inmates who can't vote nevertheless add to the power of the politicians who don't represent them.
Oct 8, 2009
- USA Today cites PPI research in story about major controversies of the 2010 Census
USA Today cites PPI and our work against prison-based gerrymandering in a discussion of major controversies in the upcoming 2010 Census.
Sep 23, 2009
- A Captive Constituency on Timbuk3
Timbuk3 cites our prison-based gerrymandering research in A Captive Constituency.
Sep 23, 2009
- Wired Magazine profiles PPI Advisory Board member Nils Christie
Wired Magazine picks PPI Advisory Board member Nils Christie for their October feature: The Smart List: 12 Shocking Ideas That Could Change the World. Read the article: Nils Christie: Empty the Prisons.
Sep 22, 2009
- Oklahoma: Prisons can inflate districts’ influence
Michael Overall in the Tulsa World writes Prisons can inflate districts' influence about our newest report Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in Oklahoma.
Sep 20, 2009
- Black Agenda Report radio piece on prison-based gerrymandering, 3/5ths clause
Glen Ford has a radio commentary on Black Agenda Report that addresses prison-based gerrymandering and the 3/5ths clause of the constitution that allowed Southern Whites....
Sep 18, 2009
- Progressive States Network: How the Incarcerated are Counted Distorts our Politics
Christian Smith-Socaris has a Progressive States Network Dispatch on How the Incarcerated are Counted Distorts our Politics. It includes a detailed summary of the problem of prison-based gerrymandering and a thorough review of what actions states can take to restore fairness to the redistricting process.
Sep 14, 2009
- Census Prisoner Count Skews Political Representation
Erik Fowle interviews PPI and writes on New America Media: Census Prisoner Count Skews Political Representation
Sep 13, 2009
- Alice Green on Times Union blog writes about our work
Alice Green writes about our work against prison-based gerrymandering on the Times-Union blog: Prisoners are People Too.
Aug 26, 2009
- PPI research in American History magazine infographic
American History magazine has a two page datagraphic "Lock Up, U.S.A.: A startling statistical rap sheet on our prison system" based in part on The Prison Index: Taking the Pulse of the Crime Control Industry. The American History graphic, unfortunately, is only available in the print edition.
Aug 4, 2009
- TalkingPointsMemo on Wisconsin Census Amendment
Eric Kleefeld blogs about the Wisconsin Census Amendment on TalkingPointsMemo: More Redistricting Follies: Counting Prisoners In Census Data
Jul 9, 2009
- On Wisconsin Public Radio
Shawn Johnson on Wisconsin Public Radio reports on a proposed constitutional amendment to end prison based gerrymandering in that state [1:33 RealMedia]. A shorter....
Jul 8, 2009
- New York Times again mentions importance of prison count to districting, political outcomes
The New York Times again mentions the importance of where people in prison are counted in the 2010 Census to the political future of the New York State: Democratic Lock....
Jun 29, 2009
- Douglas A. Berman blogs about our PA report
Professor Douglas A. Berman mentions our new Pennsylvania report on his Sentencing Law & Policy blog.
Jun 27, 2009
- Legal Intelligencer covers PA report
Amaris Elliott-Engel writes an excellent story Report: Census Prisoner Count Dilutes Urban Political Clout in the The Legal Intelligencer about our new report on prison-based gerrymandering in Pennsylvania.
Jun 27, 2009
- Pennsylvania report on prison-based gerrymandering released
We just released our newest report on the Census Bureau's prison count and prison-based gerrymandering: Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in....
Jun 27, 2009
- Report on prison-based gerrymandering in Pennsylvania
We've released a report calling for Pennsylvania to reject the Census Bureau's flawed prison counts and to end prison-based gerrymandering: Importing Constituents:....
Jun 26, 2009
- Letter to Maine Dept of Education asks for districts to be declared in violation of one person one vote principle
The Prison Policy Initiative and Demos have written to the Maine Department of Education Commissioner asking her to declare a school board apportionment based on prison....
Jun 12, 2009
- Michael Moore and AllGov.com feature our census work
MichaelMoore.com, AllGov.com, the Daily Yonder, and The Rural Blog have all been inspired by the Washington Post article to write about our work fighting prison-based....
Apr 27, 2009
- Washington Post covers prison-based gerrymandering, quotes PPI
Keith Richburg covers our work exposing prison-based gerrymandering in the Washington Post: Before Census, a Debate Over Prisoners.
Apr 26, 2009
- Oregon paper cites PPI in article on prison based gerrymandering reform efforts in that state
Brian Stimson of The Skanner writes about Oregon Rep. Chip Shield's bill to fix the flawed Census counts of prisoners in Prison Communities: Representation is Not Created....
Mar 20, 2009
- School Zone Laws Don’t Work
Letter to the editor published in Valley Advocate on March 12, 2009.
Mar 12, 2009
- Hampden County out of step on zone law
The Valley Advocate prints Executive Director Peter Wagner's letter to the editor pointing out that 1 out of every 3 school zone convictions in Massachusetts come from....
Mar 11, 2009
- Prison miscount cited as big issue for 2010
Andrew Beveridge includes the Census Bureau's prison miscount on his list of big issues for the 2010 Census and cites our advocacy in his article New York and the Fight....
Feb 26, 2009
- Zone report in Valley Advocate
Maureen Turner covers our sentencing enhancement zone reports Geography of Punishment and Reaching Too Far on the cover of this week's Valley Advocate: Urban Penalty: Do drug-free school zones unfairly target cities and people of color?
Feb 25, 2009
- Zone report in Bay State Banner
St. John Barned-Smith writes about our new report Reaching too Far, Coming up Short: How Large Sentencing-Enhancement Zones Miss the Mark in the Bay State Banner: Mass. sentencing laws not doing the job.
Feb 19, 2009
- Our zone report in Boston Phoenix
Chris Faraone writes about our new report Reaching too Far, Coming up Short: How Large Sentencing-Enhancement Zones Miss the Mark in the Boston Phoenix: You're Probably in a Drug-Free School Zone Right Now: For all the good it does.
Feb 11, 2009
- Brent Staples cites PPI on New York Times editorial writer’s blog
Brent Staples cites our research and calls on the Census Bureau to stop fueling prison-based gerrymandering in a post on the New York Times editorial writers' blog: The Census: Phantom Constituents.
Feb 6, 2009
- PPI Zone Map on Change.org
Matt Kelley features our map of Hampden County, MA sentencing enhancement zones as the Monday map on Change.org. The post goes on to talk about our new report Reaching too far, coming up short: How large sentencing enhancement zones miss the mark.
Feb 6, 2009
- New report: Sentencing enhancement zones in Massachusetts
We've released our newest report about Massachusetts' sentencing enhancement zone law: Reaching too far, coming up short: How large sentencing enhancement zones miss the mark.
Feb 6, 2009
- Ben Trachtenberg’s winning Bar Association essay
Friend of PPI Professor Ben Trachtenberg has won the American Bar Association 2009 Ross Essay Contest for Incarceration Policy Strikes Out.
Jan 28, 2009
Ann Coppola profiles our Prisoners of the Census work on Corrections.com in her article Democratic Distortion.
Jan 26, 2009
- Cited in Georgetown’s The Hoya
Tim Swenson cites our The Prison Index book in his The Hoya column Rehab, Not Relapse.
Jan 26, 2009
- Maine report coverage
Shlomit Auciello writes about our Maine report in the Herald Gazette: Policy group calls RSU 13 apportionment unconstitutional.
Jan 15, 2009
- New report on prison-based gerrymandering in Maine
I've added our newest report, Phantom Constituents in Maine's Regional School Unit 13: How the Census Bureau's outdated method of counting prisoners harms democracy.
Jan 14, 2009
- PRRAC Researcher Report: Sentencing Enhancement Zones Fail to Protect Children
Most states give longer mandatory sentences to Black and Latino drug defendants under flawed statutes that punish people based not on the offense committed but on where they live.
Dec 30, 2008
- Eric Lotke on prisons as bad investments
PPI board member Eric Lotke writes about how the new federal leadership can consciously direct resources to break the link between prisons and dependent rural economies....
Dec 11, 2008
- Marie Gottschalk cites our Census work in Dissent magazine
Marie Gottschalk discusses our research and organizing to end the Census Bureau's prison miscount in her article The World's Warden: Crime, Punishment, and Politics in....
Dec 9, 2008
- Prison Proliferation map is the Monday Map at Change.org
Matt Kelley discusses Rose Heyer's map of U.S. Prison Proliferation, 1900-2000 as the Monday Map on the Change.org Criminal Justice blog.
Dec 9, 2008
- FireDogLake cites PPI research
Julia at FireDogLake cites our research on Anamosa, Iowa and our Too Big To Ignore report in her post Who profits from private prisons?. Main St. USA also runs with the....
Nov 22, 2008
- New York Times editorial cites our report
Today's New York Times editorial page cites our report Too Big to Ignore: How Counting People in Prisons Distorted Census 2000 and calls on state and local legislators to correct the Census Bureau's prison miscount prior to redistricting.
Nov 12, 2008
- PPI mentioned on Change.org blog
Matt Kelley discusses Rose Heyer's map 21 Counties where 21% are in prison from our Too Big to Ignore report in his entry about the Times coverage of Anamosa, Iowa on the....
Oct 28, 2008
- Blog coverage of New York Times article
The New York Times' coverage of how the Census Bureau's prison miscount harms rural voters is getting a lot of play in blogs, including on Talkleft, Legal Ruralism, Smogr....
Oct 26, 2008
- Anamosa Iowa in New York Times!
Sam Roberts writes about Anamosa Iowa and the city district that is 96% prisoners in the New York Times: Census Bureau's Counting of Prisoners Benefits Some Rural Voting Districts
Oct 24, 2008
- FAMM coverage of zone report
Families Against Mandatory Minimums discusses our report The Geography of Punishment: How Huge Sentencing Enhancement Zones Harm Communities, Fail to Protect Children in....
Oct 20, 2008
- Quoted in Idaho: Census bungles prison populations
Nathaniel Hoffman quotes Peter Wagner in this Boise Weekly article about the prison miscount: Census bungles prison populations.
Oct 9, 2008
- REPORT: Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in Wisconsin
We've added our newest census report Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in Wisconsin to the Prisoners of the Census site.
Sep 29, 2008
- Smith Sophian previews talk
The Smith College Sophian previews Peter Wagner's Tuesday talk in Expert on Voting Rights to Speak at Smith.
Sep 28, 2008
- The 5/3 Compromise
Brandon White writes about the Census Bureau's prison miscount in The 5/3 Compromise on The SuperSpade.
Sep 12, 2008
- Geography of Punishment report released
Today we published our newest report: The Geography of Punishment: How Huge Sentencing Enhancement Zones Harm Communities, Fail to Protect Children. Also see Jo-Ann Moriarty's coverage in Springfield's The Republican: Drug free zones facing review.
Jul 26, 2008
- Gotham Gazette: Can New York Break Its Incarceration Habit?
Aubrey Fox cites the impact of the prison miscount on the political process when he asks Can New York Break Its Incarceration Habit? in the Gotham Gazette.
Jun 2, 2008
- Coverage in Smith College Sophian
Elizabeth Tuttle writing in the Smith College Sophian covers Peter Wagner's recent lecture: Prison Reform Lecture Series Brought to Smith
Apr 7, 2008
- Prisons Warp the Vote
TomPaine.com has published Prisons Warp the Vote by PPI law clerk Brett Blank. The piece traces the pre-Reynolds history of redistricting in New Hampshire -- which was....
Jan 8, 2008
- Are California Progressives Blind to the Prison-Industrial Complex?
Sharon Kyle cites our research on incarceration rates in Are California Progressives Blind to the Prison-Industrial Complex? on the California Progress Report
Dec 2, 2007
- Political power of prisons
Will Doolittle writes about our campaign for Census reform in the Glens Falls Post-Star in Political Power of Prisons.
Nov 8, 2007
- Gotham Gazette: Counting Convicts
Andrea Senteno and Jay Cerrato write about the campaign for Census reform in the Gotham Gazette: Counting Convicts.
Nov 2, 2007
- North County Public Radio on our letter campaign
David Sommerstein at North Country Public Radio has a 4 minute piece about St. Lawrence County Legislator Tedra Cobb asking the U.S. Census Bureau to change how it counts....
Nov 1, 2007
- Professor Marie Gottschalk editorial in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Professor Marie Gottschalk cites our census research in an editorial in yesterday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: No prison like home : For the U.S. census, convicts are....
Aug 16, 2007
- Inmates Have Political Pull in Some New York Counties
The New York Times writes about our Phantom constituents in the Empire State report in this excellent article by Sam Roberts: Inmates Have Political Pull in Some New York Counties.
Aug 7, 2007
- New York Times editorial cites report
The New York Times cited our Phantom Constituents in the Empire State report in today's editorial Phantom Voters in New York
Jul 23, 2007
- Coverage of Phantom Constituents report
Our report about how the Census burdens New York counties is receiving a lot of great press. Various versions of an Associated Press article have appeared in the Albany Times Union, the Daily Freeman, the Syracuse Post-Standard and in papers across upstate New York.
Jul 19, 2007
- Phantom constituents in the Empire State
We released a new report, "Phantom constituents in the Empire State: How outdated Census Bureau methodology burdens New York counties" today.
Jul 18, 2007
- New Prison Proliferation map by Rose Heyer
Our long-time GIS Analyst, Rose Heyer, has a two-page color map, "The American Archipelago: U.S. Prison Proliferation 1900-2004 published in a new book Warfare in the American Homeland edited by Joy James. The new map updates her earlier map, U.S. Prison Proliferation 1900-2000.
Jul 16, 2007
- Imprisoned in Low Wages
The July/August issue of Dollars & Sense magazine has a new article by PPI Policy Analyst Will Goldberg Imprisoned in Low Wages: Limited access to education for people in....
Jul 14, 2007
- Phantoms of the Census / Fantasmas del Censo
On June 25, New York State Senator Eric Schneiderman wrote in the Spanish-language daily newspaper, El Diario, about S2754, the Prisoner Census Adjustment Act, which....
Jun 27, 2007
- Cited in editorial: Choose prison or school
The Press-Register in Mobile Alabama cites our Prison Index: Taking the Pulse of the Crime Control Industry book in their editorial: Choose prison or school.
May 12, 2007
- Spitzer must lead drug law reform
Gabriel Sayegh of the Drug Policy Alliance cites our research in an op-ed in yesterday's Albany Times Union: Spitzer must lead drug law reform
Apr 27, 2007
- Hey, That’s my prisoner!
Eileen Markey writes about U.S. Census policy, New York State's democracy and the need for interim solutions in City Limits magazine: Hey, that's my prisoner: Pols want....
Feb 26, 2007
- Prisoners of the Census Bureau
Professor Marie Gottschalk cites our research in a column in today's Los Angeles Times Prisoners of the Census Bureau: How and where the U.S. counts inmates has huge, and....
Feb 19, 2007
El Diario/La Prensa (New York) cites our research in an editorial "Reversing the Prison Trend" in English and Spanish.
Feb 15, 2007
Frank Green explores the harm prisoner miscount does to Virginia's
democracy in "Census Boon?" in the Times-Dispatch. Calls for reform are
coming from many corners, including the delegate who benefits the most
from counting prisoners where they are incarcerated.
Jan 22, 2007
Rzeczpospolita (Poland) quotes Executive Director Peter Wagner on the failure of mass incarceration to control crime in Co czwarty więzień to Amerykanin (Every....
Jan 22, 2007
- Senator Adams calls for state to change how prisoners are counted
New York State Senator Eric Adams calls for the state to change how it counts prison populations during redistricting in The Empire Stakes: 2012 in Roll Call....
Jan 21, 2007
New York State Senator Liz Krueger cites our Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in New York report in a blog post calling for an end to the practice of....
Jan 6, 2007
We are now accepting applications from law and graduate students for summer internships and our Alternative Spring Break program.
Dec 13, 2006
States and cities are passing poorly considered laws that restrict where people labeled as sex offenders can live. These laws result in banishing people on the sex offender registries from whole regions at great harm to civil liberties and public safety. We've added some maps prepared over the summer for litigation in Georgia and Massachusetts and Peter Wagner's affidavit in the Massachusetts case.
Nov 12, 2006
Writing in Slate, Andrew Marantz calls how the U.S. Census counts people in prison the The Five-Fifths Clause.
Nov 6, 2006
Thehim at DailyKos uses our new interactive tool to discuss the political implications of counting prisoners in: Drug War Roundup.
Oct 29, 2006
- Blog Reload
Blog Reload uses our new interactive tool to write about how the Census Bureau's method of counting prisoners as prison town residents results in Prison-based....
Oct 24, 2006
Scott Henson blogs about our new research tool in Census counts prisoners as rural residents on Grits for Breakfast.
Oct 23, 2006
- League of Women Voters of Dallas calls for Census reform
The League of Women Voters of Dallas has written a Dallas Morning News editorial Prisoner data fix would restore equal access calling for the state of Texas to adjust....
Oct 21, 2006
- Haberman: Fresh Insights for Albany, Gleaned Behind Bars
The New York Times' Clyde Haberman cites our research in this great column Fresh Insights for Albany, Gleaned Behind Bars available only in print and to TimesSelect....
Oct 20, 2006
Ben Greenberg blogs that the Census Bureau's Own Study Says Bureau Should Stop Miscounting Prisoners, on Hungry Blues
Oct 14, 2006
- NYC Film: Fighting for Life in the Death-Belt
A new documentary considers the controversial institution of capital punishment in America through the eyes of Stephen Bright, the nation's leading anti-death penalty lawyer.
Oct 3, 2006
- NYT Editorial: A Vote for a Smarter Census
The New York Times has issued a strong editorial "A Vote for a Smarter Census" declaring that "a persuasive new report from the National Research Council" makes the Census Bureau's current practice of counting people in prison as residents of the prison town "hard to defend".
Sep 18, 2006
- Do you know where the children are?
Prison Policy Initiative board member Barbara Fedders and Barbara Kaban have released a new report "Do you know where the children are? A Report of Massachusetts Youth Unlawfully Held Without Bail", which was featured in today's lead Boston Globe editorial "Fair hearings for children".
Sep 15, 2006
The New York Times quotes Executive Director Peter Wagner in "Panel recommends change in how prisoners are counted in U.S. Census".
Sep 15, 2006
Added press release announcing that National Academies report calls for Census Bureau to collect alternative addresses for people in prison to the PPI in the news page.
Sep 14, 2006
Added Ezekiel Edwards' article Counting Off Upstate: Just Say Moo, in The Brooklyn Rail to the PPI in the News page.
Sep 6, 2006
Our worked is cited in a New York Newsday editorial We're a long way from real democracy.
Aug 25, 2006
- Affidavit of Peter Wagner
Affidavit prepared by Peter Wagner for a Revere, Massachusetts case regarding a city ordinance that would banish a person classified as a level 3 sex offender from the city.
Aug 14, 2006
- New Book: Indefensible: One Lawyer’s Journey into the Inferno of American Justice
David Feige's new chronicles one day in the life of a public defender in the South Bronx.
Jun 19, 2006
- Don’t sink more funds into jails for women
Letter to the editor in the Hampshire Gazette by Peter Wagner arguing against a $6 million expansion to the Hampden County women's jail.
Apr 27, 2006
- Johnny Cash had his demons, but few understood the importance of preserving human dignity like the Man in Black
Johnny Cash condemns the corruption and brutality of prisons in the song "Jacob Green".
Dec 22, 2005
- European Court says UK prisoners have right to vote, cites human rights treaty
The European Court rules that the disenfranchisement of 48,000 convicts in British jails violates the European convention on human rights.
Oct 6, 2005
- New Orleans: Prisoners Abandoned to Floodwaters
As Hurricane Katrina began pounding New Orleans, the sheriff's department abandoned hundreds of inmates imprisoned in the city's jail.
Sep 23, 2005
- The Man Who Broke a Thousand Chains died 50 years ago today
Today is the 50th anniversary of the death of Robert Elliot Burns, known as "The Man Who Broke a Thousand Chains", for his role in ending the brutal chain gang system in the South.
Jun 5, 2005
- An Expensive Way to Make Bad People Worse: An Essay on Prison Reform from an Insider’s Perspective, book review
Book review by Stephen Healy and Peter Wagner of 'An Expensive Way to Make Bad People Worse: An Essay on Prison Reform from an Insider's Perspective' by Jens Soering.
Apr 30, 2005
- Rogue state no longer — juvenile death penalty declared unconstitutional
The Supreme Court today declared the juvenile death penalty to be unconstitutional.
Mar 1, 2005
- First Real Cost of Prisons comic book: Prison Town: Paying the Price
Kevin Pyle and Craig Gilmore explore how mass incarceration alters both rural and urban communities.
Feb 10, 2005
- New documentary on juveniles being tried as adults
Leslie Neal has new documentary about the growing problem of juveniles being tried and sentenced as adults.
Oct 28, 2004
- Census’ cell count steals voting power
Newsday article about why it's time for the Census Bureau to end prison gerrymandering by counting incarcerated people at their home addresses.
Sep 8, 2004
- Memo to Ohio’s Joint Agency Rule Review Committee on proposed changes to Ohio’s inmate rules of conduct, January 6, 2004.
Memo to the Joint Committee on Agency Rules Review regarding changes to the policies governing inmate rules of conduct and disciplinary procedures.
Jun 6, 2004
- New Book: Gates of Injustice
Alan Elsner's new book examines how prison system grew out of control.
Apr 23, 2004
- Comments on proposed changes to Ohio’s inmate rules of conduct
Peter Wagner's commentary on and suggestions for changes to the proposed Ohio Inmate Rules of Conduct
Nov 24, 2003
- “Do no harm” or “Do no expense”?: Ohio’s prisoners are dying from inadequate medical care
Ohio Department of Corrections' health care budget cuts and poor oversight is compromising the quality of care.
Nov 24, 2003
- Letter to ABA Justice Kennedy Commission
Letter accompanying a submission of 'The Prison Index: Taking the Pulse of the Crime Control Industry' to the American Bar Association to inform its review of criminal justice policy.
Nov 3, 2003
- California’s budget secret: Prisoners for core of forest fighting army
Article by Peter Wagner explaining that up to three quarters of the crew members fighting California fires are prisoners who are paid up to one dollar per hour.
Oct 30, 2003
- Thirty-Two Years After Attica: Many More Blacks in Prison but not as Guards
Article discusses how rural prison expansion contributes to long-standing racial disparities between correctional officers and incarcerated people.
Sep 25, 2003
- In Memory of Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash consistently identified with the downtrodden and recorded a number of songs about the hopeless misery of imprisonment.
Sep 12, 2003
- Turned Out: Sexual Assault Behind Bars
New documentary explores the historically taboo subject of homosexual relations and rape in prison.
Jul 3, 2003
- Instead of Prisons available online
The 1976 handbook to prison abolition has been digitized.
May 22, 2003
- Limits to Pain available online
Nil's Christie's book on the criminal justice "pain delivery system" has been digitized.
Feb 12, 2003
- Exclude prisoners from local redistricting
Letter explaining why counting prison populations as residents of Coxsackie, New York undermines democracy by causing vote dilution.
Feb 3, 2003
- Locked up, then counted out: Prisoners and the census
Using incarcerated people to grant additional political clout to areas with prisons harkens back to the pernicious 3/5 clause
Jan 17, 2003
- Illinois Governor empties death row
On Jan 11, 2003, outgoing Illinois Governor Ryan reduced the death sentences of all 167 prisoners to life or other sentences.
Jan 12, 2003
- Disenfranchisement thesis posted
Jon Yount's groundbreaking thesis on prisoner disenfranchisement has been digitized.
Dec 8, 2002
- Supreme Court of Canada rules inmates can vote
The Supreme Court of Canada has granted convicts in penitentiaries the right to vote.
Nov 4, 2002
- New Book: Invisible Punishment
Leading scholars and advocates explore the far-reaching consequences of thirty years of "get tough" policies on prisoners, ex-felons, and families and communities.
Oct 20, 2002
- Census Quirk Sustains New York’s Love Affair with Prisons
Prison gerrymandering provides perverse incentives to legislators with prisons in their districts to support punitive criminal justice policy.
Aug 1, 2002
- Prison Expansion Won’t Aid Local Economy
Letter to the editor in the Hartford Courant by Peter Wagner pointing out that government facilities such as prisons do not pay property taxes.
Aug 1, 2002
- How the prison system makes minority communities pay
"The Crisis" reports on how rising incarceration is spilling over into critical arenas of black political and economic power.
Jul 15, 2002
- Supreme Court strikes down judge-ordered death sentences
The Supreme Court today invalidated the death sentence of Timothy Ring because although the jury voted for life, the judge sentenced him to death
Jun 24, 2002
- Crime Control as Industry, book review
Book review by Peter Wagner of 'Crime Control as Industry' by Nils Christie.
May 30, 2002
- Racial disparities in the ‘great migration’ to prison
Article by Peter Wagner argues that criminal justice reforms must be include a plan to address pernicious and systemic racial disparities in the prison population.
Oct 7, 2001
- Massachusetts Disenfranchises its Prisoners
On November 7, 2000, by a 2 to 1 margin, Massachusetts disenfranchised its prisoners with a constitutional amendment called Question 2.
Nov 30, 2000
- Incarceration is not a solution to mental illness
Report in Mass Dissent by Peter Wagner on a 'Disability and the State' panel discussion at The Rebellious Law Conference in 2000.
Apr 1, 2000