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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.

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—Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate
Side by side graphs showing the rates of male incarceration by race and the rates of new HIV infections among women by race. Black men are incarcerated at a rate six times that of white men, and the rate of HIV infection is twenty times higher for Black women than white women.

Data Source: Incarceration rates calculated from Bureau of Justice Statistics “Correctional Population in the U.S. 2010” and U.S. Census 2010 Summary File 1. HIV rates are from 2010 estimates from the Centers for Disease Control “Estimated HIV incidence among adults and adolescents in the United States, 2007-2010. (Graph: Wendy Sawyer and Emily Wildra, 2017)

This graph originally appeared in Unraveling the connections between race, incarceration, and women’s HIV rates.

Johnson and Raphael (2009) conclude that if it weren’t for the racial disparity in male incarceration, Black women would have lower rates of HIV infection than white women.

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