Stand up for justice
The first $2,500 we raise through Tuesday, May 2 will be matched by a generous donor as part of the “Valley Gives Day” challenge. Can you stand up for smart and effective criminal justice policy with a gift today?.

Thank you.

P.S. If we meet our goal, the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts will enter us into a drawing to have all of your gifts matched a second time!


One out of every three people who were behind bars last night were confined in a jail; two out of every three correctional facilities is a jail, and almost every person (95%) released from a correctional facility today was released from a jail.

Jails are literally mass incarceration's front door, yet the scant attention paid to jails and jail policy is itself a key impediment to reform.

The Prison Policy Initiative seeks to put jails and the need for jail reform directly into the national discussion on criminal justice reform.

Below is some of our key research about jail and jail policies:

report thumbnailMass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2017

Our report and comprehensive graphic provide the big picture: 2.3 million people are locked up in more than 6,000 correctional facilities operated by thousands of agencies. The "whole pie" gives the public and policymakers the foundation to now consider the types of changes that would end the country's reign as the number one incarcerator in the world.

report thumbnailDetaining the Poor: How money bail perpetuates an endless cycle of poverty and jail time

With data scientist Daniel Kopf, we find that the ability to pay money bail is impossible for too many defendants because it represents eight months of a typical defendant's income.

See also:

  • The jails and pre-trial detention sections of our Research Clearinghouse for comprehensive edited links to empirical research by other organizations.
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