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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
Graph showing the number of people in jails from 1983 to 2014 by whether they have been convicted or not. The number of convicted people stopped growing in 1999, but the number of unconvicted people continues to grow.

Data Source: Compiled from the Bureau of Justice Statistics series Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear and Correctional Populations in the United States. Missing data for 1994 extrapolated from 1993 and 1995 values. (Graph: Peter Wagner, 2015)

This graph originally appeared in Jails matter. But who is listening?.

Virtually all of the growth in the jail population has been in the number of legally innocent people who are detained in jails.

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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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