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Researching Mass Incarceration and Prison Abolition: Reports, Studies & Data

A research guide created by Brooklyn Law School's librarians to assist those who wish to identify resources on mass incarceration and prison abolition. This guide highlights selected New York-specific events and sources.

Arrangement of Sources

Left column below = Government-produced sources + HeinOnline databases that include selected U.S. government publications. 

Right column below = Many additional sources + starting points for: Researching Health Issues in Carceral Facilities

Please also view sources described in: Organizations, Partnerships & Toolkits

Bueau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice

The Bureau of Justice Statistics is "the primary statistical agency of the [U.S.] Department of Justice."

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

National Criminal Justice Reference Service, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

National Criminal Justice Reference Service "is a [U.S.] federally funded resource offering justice and drug-related information to support research, policy, and program development worldwide."

New York State Prison Redevelopment Commission, 2022 Report

New York City Board of Correction, Reports

The New York City Board of Correction is a "non-judicial oversight board that regulates, monitors, and inspects the correctional facilities of the City."

HeinOnline: Historical Collections (available through BLS Library - off campus access requires implementation of BLS proxy instructions)

HeinOnline Collection That Includes Selected U.S. Congressional Hearings & U.S. Government Publications:

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

ACLU is a non-profit and non-partisan organization.  ACLU's lawyers (and other attorneys who assist them) "handle thousands of cases each year on behalf of clients whose rights have been violated."  ACLU provides issue-focused pages of resources on: Capital Punishment; Criminal Law Reform; Juvenile Justice; Racial Justice; Prisoners' Rights; and Smart Justice (publicly accessible).  Issue-focused pages include information about court cases and links to selected case documents.

Recent reports:

Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law

The Brennan Center for Justice is "a nonpartisan law and policy institute."

Equal Justice Initiative

Equal Justice initiative is a private, nonprofit organization that "provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons."

National Registry of Exonerations

This is a joint project of Newkirk Center for Science & Society at University of California Irvine, the University of Michigan Law School & Michigan State University College of Law.  This Registry "provides detailed information about every known exoneration in the United States since 1989" and a smaller database of known exonerations before 1989, 

Perilous: A Chronicle of Prisoner Unrest Across the U.S. and Canada

Perilous Chronicle is "an independent digital research and media project focusing on prisons, protest, unrest and repression in the U.S. and Canada."  It "is run by a closed collective of volunteer journalists and researchers throughout the U.S. and Canada."  The members of the Perilous Editorial Collective are not listed on this project's website. 

Prison Policy Initiative

Prison Policy Initiative is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that "produces cutting edge research to expose the broader harm of mass criminalization, and then sparks advocacy campaigns to create a more just society."

The Sentencing Project

The Sentencing Project is a non-profit organization that "advocates for effective and humane responses to crime that minimize imprisonment and criminalization of youth and adults by promoting racial, ethnic, economic, and gender justice."

Vera Institute of Justice

Vera Institute of Justice is "a national organization that partners with impacted communities and government leaders for change."

Researching Health Issues in Carceral Facilities

Books That Discuss Broader Health Issues: