HELP US END MASS INCARCERATION The Prison Policy Initiative uses research, advocacy, and organizing to dismantle mass incarceration. We’ve been in this movement for 20 years, thanks to individual donors like you.

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graph showing that the prison population decreases in several states are largely due to fewer admissions, not increased releases

Data Source: Data compiled by the Prison Policy Initiative from ten state departments of corrections’ publicly available monthly reports. Note that the y-axis for Arkansas, North Carolina, Illinoid, & South Dakota differ from the other six states to show the monthly variation more clearly. (Graph: Emily Widra, 2022)

This graph originally appeared in State prisons and local jails appear indifferent to COVID outbreaks, refuse to depopulate dangerous facilities.

These twelve states publish monthly release and admission data for 2018, 2019, 2020, and most of 2021. These data show us a pattern of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic: reducing prison admissions, while releasing fewer people from prison.

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