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 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.

Thank you.
—Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate
Graph showing the portion of the civilian labor force that works in agriculture or for the justice system from 1971 to 2012. In 1971, about 4% of the workforce was in agriculture. The number of agricultural workers have declined as the number of justice system employees has grown, and by 2001, the number of police, corrections and judicial employees was higher than the number of agricultural workers.

Data Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics Justice Employment and Expenditures Extracts series and the Current Population Survey, conducted by the Bureau of Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reports the number of agricultural workers and the size of the total labor force for each year from 1946 to present. (Graph: Emily Widra, 2017)

This graph originally appeared in Tracking the impact of the prison system on the economy.

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