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 number of justice system employees from 1982 to 2012 by level of government (federal, state, local and total. After total, local is the highest, then state, then federal. In 2012, more than 2.4 million people worked for the justice system.

Data Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Justice Employment and Expenditures Extracts series. (Graph: Emily Widra, 2017)

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

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