I need your help.
100000
33832
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 II: Incarceration & Its Consequences

Families of Prisoners:

  • Number of prisoners with minor children, 1999384: 642,300
  • Number of minor children with parents in prison, 1999385: 1,324,900
  • Increase between 1991 and 1999 in the number of minor children with a parent in prison386: 472,600
  • Percent of male state prisoners with minor children, 1997387: 54.7%
  • Percent of female state prisoners with minor children, 1997388: 65.3%
  • Percent of female state prisoners with minor children reporting monthly visits from their children, 1997389: 23.8%
  • Average sentence for parents in state prison, in months390: 80
  • Average sentence for parents in federal prison, in months391: 103
  • Percent of state prisoner parents incarcerated 100-500 miles from their last place of residence392: 51.2%
  • Percent of federal prisoner parents incarcerated more than 100 miles from their last place of residence393: 84.0%

A recidivism study on the impact of visits:

  • Percent of prisoners who had no visits in their final year of prison who were arrested in their first year on parole394: 50%
  • Percent of prisoners who had three visits in their final year of prison who were arrested in their first year on parole395: 30%
  • Number of times a parolee who did not receive visits was more likely to be returned to prison than a parolee that had received three or more visits in the last year of incarceration396: 6

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

384 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 6.42

385 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 6.42

386 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 6.42 calculation

387 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Incarcerated Parents and Their Children, Table 1.

388 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Incarcerated Parents and Their Children, Table 1.

389 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Incarcerated Parents and Their Children, p. 1.

390 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Incarcerated Parents and Their Children, p. 6.

391 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Incarcerated Parents and Their Children, p. 6.

392 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Incarcerated Parents and Their Children, p. 6.

393 Calculation, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Incarcerated Parents and Their Children, p. 6.

394 Holt & Miller, Explorations in Inmate-Family Relationships, Summary.

395 Holt & Miller, Explorations in Inmate-Family Relationships, Summary.

396 Holt & Miller, Explorations in Inmate-Family Relationships, Summary.

Tweet this page Follow @PrisonPolicy on Twitter Get our newsletter Donate Contact Us Now hiring: Policy Director


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.

Not near you?
Invite us to your city, college or organization.