I need your help.
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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

Our expertise

The big picture:

Specific issues:

  • thumbnailExploitationCompanies & facilities exploit captive markets. We expose them.
  • thumbnailJails & BailOne out of three people behind bars are in a jail. Jail reform is criminal justice reform.
  • thumbnailRacial justiceRacial disparities are a defining characteristic of our criminal justice system.
  • thumbnail Collateral consequencesPunishment doesn't end when your sentence does.
  • thumbnailPrison gerrymanderingHow the prison system distorts democracy
  • thumbnailCommunicationsProtecting phone, visitation, email, and postal contact for people behind bars.
  • thumbnailGeographic punishmentsPunishing based on location of offense, not severity of offense is a bad idea.
  • thumbnailWomenHow women fare in the world’s most punitive justice system.
  • thumbnailPublic healthThe harms of mass incarceration extend far beyond prisons


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