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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 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. 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, for the years 2007 to 2014, the number of people -- 11 to 13 million -- a year who are admitted to jail per year and the number of people -- about 700,000 to 800,000 -- who are in jail on a given day.

Data Source: Compiled by the Prison Policy Initiative from the Bureau of Justice Statistics Jail Inmates at Midyear Series. (Graph: Peter Wagner, 2015)

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

Addressing the problem of jails means grappling with the tremendous churn through jails. How can we lessen the numbers who enter jails and reduce the time that 11 million people spend there each year?

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