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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 16 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
Map showing that considerable portions of the county would still be in sentencing enhancement zones if the zones were reduced to 100 feet.

(Graph: Prison Policy Initiative, 2008)

This graph originally appeared in The Geography of Punishment: How Huge Sentencing Enhancement Zones Harm Communities, Fail to Protect Children.

We calculated the zones that would exist if the law specified a 100-foot distance and did not apply to Head Start facilities added in the 1998 amendments. As the map below reflects, sizable areas in Hampden County would still be eligible for the zone enhancement, but our research suggests that the racial disparity in sentencing would drop. Under such a statute, 6% of the county would be living in a zone. That population would be 6% White, 8% Black, and 9% Latino, a significantly smaller disparity.

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