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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 16 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
Map of a sentencing enhancement zone in Springfield Massachusetts

(Graph: Prison Policy Initiative, 2008)

This graph originally appeared in The Geography of Punishment: How Huge Sentencing Enhancement Zones Harm Communities, Fail to Protect Children.

Because of a large pond, a cemetery and the roads' arrangement, a person on Darling Street would need to travel 3,200 feet to get to the closest part of the JFK Middle School property, and a person on Page Boulevard would have to travel 3,800 feet to reach it. Yet the law requires that the sentencing enhancement zone distance be measured in a straight line from the edge of the property, regardless of the obstacles in between.

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