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 15 years, our campaigns have protected our democracy from the prison system and 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.

Thank you.
—Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate

What’s New



Featured report

Era of Mass Expansion: Why State Officials Should Fight Jail Growth

Era of Mass Expansion jails report thumbnail In a first-of-its-kind report, the Prison Policy Initiative challenges the myth that jails are only a local matter. While jails may be locally administered, state law defines the offenses and procedures that land people in jail 11 million times each year. With more than 150 graphics, the report explores the data to expose the real causes of jail growth in each state. The report offers ten recommendations to help state policymakers take responsibility for the overuse of jails in their states.



Unpacking mass incarceration

Learn about the national prison crisis and how we can begin to turn the tide on mass incarceration. Then, drill down to your state.




If our work is new to you, you might want to check out our 2015-2016 annual report.



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