I need your help. 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.

Thank you.
—Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate
Graph showing number of people in Tennessee prisons and number of people in Tennessee jails from 1978 to 2015

(Graph: Joshua Aiken, May 2017)

thumbnail for report Era of Mass ExpansionThis graph is a part of the Prison Policy Initiative report, Era of Mass Expansion: Why State Officials Should Fight Jail Growth.

More than third of the people held in jails in Tennessee are held for federal or state agencies, primarily the state prison system. To avoid counting them twice, this population is not included in the yellow jails line. For annual counts of people in jails held for federal or state authorizes in Tennessee, see our table "Jail and prison incarcerated populations by state over time."

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