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

You’ve seen just one day: 29,000 people.

Three days: 87,000 admissions.
26% of jail suicides occur within three days of admission.

One week: 204,000 admissions.
40% of all jail deaths occur within one week of admission.

25 days: 726,000 jail admissions.
25 days is also the average length of stay in jail.

By mid-March, there are about 2 million jail admissions.

This is already more than the number of Bachelor’s degrees granted each year. College degrees lead to higher wages and net worth, while incarceration hurts economic prospects and reduces net worth.

By Mother’s Day: 3.8 million admissions.
Over 100,000 women are in jail on any given day. 80% of them are mothers.

By the end of June: 5.3 million jail admissions.
This is just the halfway point.

By September: 7 million jail admissions.
As students head back to school, 3,700 youth are confined in adult jails.

By Thanksgiving: 9.5 million jail admissions.

While families get together for the holidays, many will be missing incarcerated loved ones. 1 in 4 women has an incarcerated family member, and 1 in 12 children has a parent who has been to jail or prison.

10.6 million: one year of jail admissions.

Data Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Jail Inmates in 2016. (Graph: Mona Chalabi, 2018)

This graph originally appeared in Artist collaboration: Visualizing 10.6 million jail admissions each year.

< Previous


Stay Informed


Get the latest updates:



Tweet this page Donate