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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
Chart showing the number of arrests for drug possession and drug sales/manufacturing from 1980 to 2014. For the last 20 years, the number of arrests for drug sales have remained flat, while the number of arrests for posession have grown.

Data Source: Compiled by the Prison Policy Initiative from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Arrest Data Analysis Tool. (Graph: Peter Wagner & Bernadette Rabuy, 2017)

This graph originally appeared in Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2017.

Chart showing the number of arrests for drug possession and drug sales/manufacturing from 1980 to 2014. For the last 20 years, the number of arrests for drug sales have remained flat, while the number of arrests for posession have grown.<p>There are more than 4 times as many arrests for drug possession as for drug sales.</p>

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