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 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
Graph showing the number of people per 100,000 population in federal prisons, state prisons and local jails from 1925 to 2015, with the highest rates for state prisons followed by local jails.

Data Source: This graph is an updated version of one that appeared in Tracking State Prison Growth in 50 States. The raw numbers were updated through 2015 in Data update: Incarcerated population inching down with the sources listed at the bottom of that post. The total population figures necessary to calculate the incarceration rates are described in the methodology section of Tracking State Prison Growth in 50 States, with recent years added from the U.S. Census Bureau's population estimates. (Graph: Joshua Aiken and Peter Wagner, 2017)

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