Peter Wagner is an attorney and the Executive Director of the Prison Policy Initiative and a co-author of the Prison Policy Initiative’s oft-cited exposé Please Deposit All of Your Money: Kickbacks, Rates, and Hidden Fees in the Jail Phone Industry.

by Aleks Kajstura, September 29, 2010. First, most people in jail or prison are not in for drug charges at all. The Growth of Incarceration in the United States recommends changes in sentencing policy, prison policy, and social policy to reduce the nation's reliance on incarceration. High rates of incarceration in the United States and the great numbers of people held in U.S. prisons and jails result substantially from decisions by policy makers to increase the use and severity of prison sentences. 3 Policies and Practices Contributing to High Rates of Incarceration.

Copays are just part of a broader program of fees that jails and prisons heap on incarcerated people and their families. The larger problem of mass incarceration in America is a complex and divisive issue that must be further examined by lawmakers, but through preliminary policy around new housing and pretrial measures, the resulting decrease in sitting prison populations can hopefully ease the burden on public prison facilities and allow the country to move away from costly privatization.

Civil rights groups cite our work on prison-based gerrymandering in their new guide to redistricting. Civil rights groups cite harm of prison-based gerrymandering Three civil rights groups publish a guide to redistricting, focusing on issues facing minority communities. In 1995, Sioux City, Iowa native Tommy Lee Farmer, a professional criminal who had served 43 years in prison for murder and armed robbery was the first person in the United States to be convicted under the federal three-strikes law when he was sentenced to life in prison for an attempted robbery at an eastern Iowa convenience store. In "free world" cost, that amounts to $1,093. Prison Policy Initiative In West Virginia, a minimum-wage prisoner would have to work 125 hours to make enough money for a copay. The report also identifies important research questions that must be answered to provide a firmer basis for policy.

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