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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

Section III: The Prison Economy

Crime Control and the Economy

  • Amount, spent nationally in 1997 on police421: $57.6 billion
  • Amount, spent nationally in 1997 on the judiciary422: $28.5 billion
  • Amount, spent nationally in 1997 on corrections423: $43.5 billion
  • Amount, spent by the federal government in 2001 on drug control424: $18.1 billion
  • Percent of federal drug control expenditures used to reduce demand via research, programs, drug abuse treatment, and prevention, 2001425: 31%
  • Percent of federal drug control expenditures used to reduce supply via domestic law enforcement, 2001426: 54%

This page is an excerpt from The Prison Index: Taking the Pulse of the Crime Control Industry (April 2003) by Peter Wagner, published by the Western Prison Project and the Prison Policy Initiative.

Footnotes

421 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 1.3

422 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 1.3

423 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 1.3

424 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 1.12

425 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 1.12

426 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 1.12

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Events

  • November 29, 2017:
    Legal Director Aleks Kajstura will be in DC speaking at the congressional Democratic Women’s Working Group dinner about women’s mass incarceration.

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