Mass Incarceration

Sunlight shines on old, abandoned penitentiary.

Racial Justice Group Testifies That Pennsylvania's Proposed Risk Assessment Tool is Racist

Color of Change says the use of a computer algorithm to determine if and how long people should be sentenced to incarceration is racist and unfair.

Three women in burgundy shirts sitting next to each other. They each make phone calls on blue telephones mounted on a wall with laminated signs including a plaque that says calls may be subject to recording.

Nearly Half of All U.S. Adults Have a Family Member Who Has Been Incarcerated

A new study finds that mass incarceration has ruinous consequences for the 113 million people in the United States whose family members have spent time in prisons or jails, and people of color are disproportionately impacted.

An old, abandoned state penitentiary cellblock bathed in sunlight.

New Report Shows Prison Can Block Access to Education for Life

Data sheds light on the educational mobility of formerly incarcerated people.

Image of empty row of jail cells, with dim lights glowing in each cell.

MacArthur Foundation Commits $148 Million to Criminal Justice Reform

The organization’s Safety and Justice Challenge now includes a network of 52 cities and counties creating innovative solutions to reduce over-incarceration.

Barbed wire surrounding a prison during sunset.

Amendment 4 Could Restore Voting Rights for Millions of Formerly Incarcerated People in Florida

People with felony convictions in the Sunshine State face some of the harshest voting laws in the nation.

Portraits of Black men on red brick background in brown building

Philly Mural Project 'Portraits of Justice' Confronts Mass Incarceration

Formerly incarcerated artists working with Mural Arts Philadelphia created a new art installation in defiance of former mayor and police chief Frank Rizzo’s history of violence in the city.

Murder rate drops in US, according to FBI data

Violent Crime Rates Fall, But Incarceration Rates Still High

Ames Grawert of Brennan Center for Justice: “Congress and states should back commonsense sentencing reform that would correct grave injustices in the way we sentence and incarcerate.”

Satellite image of a storm landing on the United States Atlantic coast.

South Carolina Refused to Evacuate Incarcerated People Ahead of Hurricane Florence

“If Governor McMaster truly does not want to ‘gamble with the lives of the people of South Carolina,’ he needs to make sure that the prison system is up to par, or evacuate the inmates just as he has ordered the rest of us to do.”

Black and white picture of dark cell with light coming through bars

READ: Notes From Inside the Prison Strike

Kevin Rashid Johnson writes from solitary confinement about the importance of fighting to reform the criminal justice system.

A person with their hands shackled behind their back is seen through an opening in a chain-link fence

Incarcerated People Stage Strikes Nationwide

Strikers say meager wages and sentencing laws that target people of color amount to modern day slavery.

Several incarcerated firefighters in orange jumpsuits look on as a plane passes over a burned down field.

California Uses Prison Labor to Battle Dangerous Wildfires

Some 2,000 incarcerated firefighters from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation are earning just $2 a day to contain the largest wildfire ever recorded in the state’s history.

The formerly incarcerated have unemployment rates five times the national average.

Out of Prison, Out of Jobs: Unemployment and the Formerly Incarcerated

A new report from Prison Policy Initiative says that joblessness for people with criminal records is nearly five times the rate of the general public, with Black women paying the most expensive price.

A black incarcerated person makes a phone call at a reintegration center as he faces a wall painted in monochrome blue and white with the American flag at the top

Why Reentry Is Incredibly Hard for Formerly Incarcerated Black and Latinx People

Colorlines talks to Bruce Western, author of  “Homeward: Life in the Year After Incarceration,” which follows the journeys of 100+ formerly incarcerated people as they navigate the challenges of racial, health and socioeconomic inequity.

Civil debt imprisonment

U.S. Courts Imprison Thousands For Unpaid Debts

A new report says the practice—which violates due process laws—disproportionately impacts communities of color.

Black and white photo of young Black boys in striped shirts and pants, working in a field

WATCH: Short Documentary Explores History—and Present—of the Juvenile Justice System

Youth First Initiative: “Youth justice is racial justice—and that’s why this system of oppression needs to change.”

Red garage door with "McFadden's Bail Bonds" painted on it in yellow, "For Rent" sign posted over the lettering

Philadelphia's City Council Calls on Officials to End Cash Bail System

Will the courts and the district attorney’s office take up the challenge?

Chainlink fence

New Report Delves Into the Mass Incarceration of Women

Fully 60 percent of the women being held in jails have not been convicted of a crime.

This Infographic Breaks Down How Racism Impacts Black People Daily

Living Cities’ “A Day in a Life” illustrates how structural and institutional racism join forces with individual bias to upend the lives of African Americans.

White book cover with red, pink, yellow and black rendering of a Black person in profile on off-white background

How It Feels to Be a Black Woman Teaching Boys of Color Behind Bars

In her new book, “All Day,” poet and playwright Liza Jessie Peterson chronicles her year of teaching mostly Black and Latino boys inside New York City’s vicious Rikers Island jail. Herewith, a Q&A.

People in tactical gear stand behind spray painted words on ground that read: 100:1 The Crack Legacy

New Audio Documentary Series Explores Link Between War on Drugs, Police Violence

Audible’s “100:1 The Crack Legacy” delves into the politics and polices that disproportionately impact Black people in America.