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 comparing social isolation and political alienation among incarcerated and non-incarcerated people.

Data Source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIACC) 2014 Prison Study. (Graph: Emily Wildra, 2017)

This graph originally appeared in It’s not just the franchise: Mass incarceration undermines political engagement.

The findings of these three questions about social and political isolation reinforce the conclusions of prior research, suggesting that criminal justice involvement at any level impacts political engagement and trust. Compared to the data collected from U.S. households, the survey of U.S. prisons indicates higher levels of mistrust, political disenfranchisement, and political alienation among incarcerated adults.

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