A portrait of Peter Wagner.
Peter Wagner
Executive Director
I need your help. For 14 years, the Prison Policy Initiative has been at the forefront of the movement to keep the prison system from exerting undue influence on our electoral process. Our work has changed how our democracy works in 4 states and hundreds of local governments. We’ve even won at the Supreme Court, but our long-term viability depends on people like you investing in our work.

Can you stand up for democracy by joining our small network of donors today? You can make a one-time gift, or become a monthly donor.

I thank you for investing in our work for a more just tomorrow.
—Peter Wagner
... (read more)(read less)

“Residents” not by choice but by Census policy

by Peter Wagner, August 25, 2003  

Almost 30 percent of new residents who came to Upstate New York in the 1990s didn’t make the trip by choice, and they didn’t move into subdivisions or houses on secluded cul-de-sacs. They were inmates making their new homes in prison cells, according to a new report on population trends in upstate.

–Gannet News Service, August 24, 2003

That was perhaps the most striking statistic in a new report by the Brookings Institution documenting the stagnation of much of upstate, which grew in population just 1.1 percent in the ’90s.

Counting prisoners in their home community would avoid this type of confusion that skews Census statistics.

See our New York maps showing how counting urban prisoners as residents of rural prison towns undermines the accuracy and utilitity of Census data.

Tweet this page Follow @PrisonPolicy on Twitter Get our newsletter Donate Contact Us


  • September 21, 2016:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be speaking at Claremont McKenna College in California. Details TBA.

Not near you?
Invite us to your city, college or organization.