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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.

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graph showing Incarceration rates in Kentucky

Data Source: U.S. Census 2010, Summary File 1. (Graph: Leah Sakala, May 2014)

This graph uses U.S. Census data for all people incarcerated in the state, including people in federal and state prisons, local jails, halfway houses, etc. While state and local facilities contain people processed by the Kentucky judicial systems, the federal prisons contain people sent to those facilities by courts all over the country.

For our purposes, the fact that federal prison populations are included in the Census Bureau's data as residents of Kentucky would be an unimportant statistical quirk except for that fact that there are so many people in federal prisons in Kentucky. In fact, 20% of the incarcerated people that the Census counted in Kentucky were in a federal prison. This has a dramatic impact of the demographics of the incarcerated population. If the Census Bureau's federal prison counts were removed from this analysis, the incarceration rates would be 628 for Whites, 625 for Hispanics, 2397 for Blacks, and 1023 for American Indian and Alaska Natives.

report thumbnailThis graph is a part of Breaking Down Mass Incarceration in the 2010 Census: State-by-State Incarceration Rates by Race/Ethnicity, a Prison Policy Initiative briefing.

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Events

  • November 29, 2017:
    Legal Director Aleks Kajstura will be in DC speaking at the congressional Democratic Women’s Working Group dinner about women’s mass incarceration.

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