Peter Wagner, Executive Director
I need your help. For more than a decade, the Prison Policy Initiative has been at the forefront of the movement to expose how mass incarceration undermines our national welfare. We've won major civil rights victories in local governments, state legislatures and even the Supreme Court. But our long-term viability depends on people like you investing in our work.

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—Peter
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Changing how prisoners are counted will not require a change in how college students are counted

by Peter Wagner, March 1, 2004  

Unlike college students, prisoners are not a part of the local community. While some colleges are partially self-reliant communities, prisons are entirely so. Students are welcome and encouraged to come in to town to purchase goods and services and to rent apartments. Students can register to vote in the local community and may decide to stay permanently after graduation.

Prisoners are barred from leaving the facility without official permission. Forty-eight states bar prisoners from voting, and those that allow prisoners to vote require the voting to be done via absentee ballot back home. Finally, parole regulations frequently require prisoners to be returned to their original county of conviction upon release.

While students are a part of the host community, prisoners are not.

For more information on how students are counted, see our new FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section.

Meet us

  • December 17, 2014:
    Board Member Ruth Greenwood will present a Continuing Legal Education seminar entitled “Current Trends in Voting Rights” at the Chicago Bar Association, from 12.15-1.30pm.
  • February 20, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner, Board Member Amanda Alexander and Advisory Board Member Bruce Reilly will present on a panel entitled “The fight against mass incarceration: Combining litigation and policy work for systemic change” at RebLaw at Yale Law School from 3-4:30pm.

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

Events

  • December 17, 2014:
    Board Member Ruth Greenwood will present a Continuing Legal Education seminar entitled “Current Trends in Voting Rights” at the Chicago Bar Association, from 12.15-1.30pm.
  • February 20, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner, Board Member Amanda Alexander and Advisory Board Member Bruce Reilly will present on a panel entitled “The fight against mass incarceration: Combining litigation and policy work for systemic change” at RebLaw at Yale Law School from 3-4:30pm.

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

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