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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

Probation

Although it receives little public attention, probation is the leading form of correctional control in the United States. More than half of the people under the control of the criminal justice system are on probation. And while it sounds like a light sentence compared to incarceration, probation often sets people up to fail.

report thumbnail for Punishing Poverty

Punishing Poverty:
The high cost of probation fees in Massachusetts

by Wendy Sawyer
December 2016

Press coverage and editorial support

  • Probation comes at high price for the poor, by Emily Cutts, The Recorder, December 20, 2016
  • audio logo Wendy Sawyer on The Bill Newman Show, WHMP (MA), December 16, 2016
  • thumbnailProbation fees pose an undue burden, by The Boston Globe editorial board, December 13, 2016
  • State probation fees need reform, by the Daily Hampshire Gazette editorial board, December 13, 2016
  • Probation Fees Hit Poor MA Communities the Hardest, by Mike Clifford, Public News Service, December 12, 2016
  • Poverty, Punishment, And Probation: A Toxic Brew, by Daniel Medwed, WGBH News, December 8, 2016
  • Probation fees hit poor the hardest, says report, by Michael Jonas, Commonwealth Magazine, December 7, 2016
  • Nonprofit encourages elimination of probation fees, by Shira Schoenberg, MassLive, December 7, 2016
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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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