Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2015
Date:  12-13-2015

The Prison Policy Initiative report clarifies why 2.3 million people are locked up in America

December 8, 2015

Contact: Bernadette Rabuy

Easthampton, MA — With 2.3 million people locked up in more than 7,000 correctional facilities operated by thousands of agencies, getting the big picture is anything but easy. Today, with the publication of Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2015, the Prison Policy Initiative provides the answer to how many people are locked up in the U.S., where, and why. Building upon our groundbreaking 2014 report that, for the first time, aggregated the disparate systems of confinement, this updated version contains further detail on why people are locked up.

As we discuss in our report, looking at the “whole pie” allows us to cut through the fog to answer key questions such as:

  • After state prisons, what is the next biggest slice of confinement?

  • How does the number of people that cycle through correctional facilities in a year differ from the number of people locked up on a particular day?

  • How important is it to ending mass incarceration that we reform the policies that increasingly detain people pretrial?

  • How many people nationwide are imprisoned because their most serious offense was a drug offense?

  • How does the number of people in correctional facilities compare to the even larger number of people on probation and parole?

    Armed with the big picture, Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2015, gives the public and policymakers the foundation to now consider the types of changes that would end the country’s reign as the number one incarcerator in the world.

    The report is available here.