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 the number of people in local jails from 1940 to 2015. The number was relatively stable until 1980, and then increased quickly.  Since 2004, there have been more than 700,000 people in local jails.

Data Source: Compiled from multiple Bureau of Justice Statistics data sets. See our blog post about the data. (Graph: Joshua Aiken, 2017)

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