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Beyond the count: A deep dive into state prison populations (2022)

We know how many people are in state prisons, but what do we really know about who they are or how they ended up there? Over 1 million people are confined in state prisons nationwide, primarily serving sentences of anywhere from a year to life. But the walls and restrictions that keep these individuals out of public life also keep them out of the public eye: most of what we know about people in prison comes from the prison system itself. But our analysis of a unique, large-scale survey of incarcerated people provides a richer picture of just who is locked up in state prisons.

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