Feature Prison Research and Innovation Initiative
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Images of incarcerated people.


Prisons in America house more than 1.3 million people, employ more than 200,000 corrections officers in state-run institutions, and consume a significant share of state budgets. Yet despite their scale and impact, they are among the least transparent and most understudied public institutions in our country.

To bridge this knowledge gap, we launched the Prison Research and Innovation Initiative in 2019, an effort to build evidence and spur innovation to make prisons more humane, safe, and rehabilitative environments. With support from Arnold Ventures, this five-year project leverages research and evidence to shine a much-needed light on prison conditions and pilot strategies to promote the well-being of people who are confined and work behind bars.

To learn more about this initiative and sign up for project updates, please contact TransformPrison@urban.org.



Click HERE for more information about the Initiative and Network of 5 states.


For a list of our frequently asked questions, click HERE. If you have additional questions, please contact us at TransformPrison@urban.org.


Get to know our Advisory Board. This group includes advocates, researchers, corrections officers/leadership, state leaders, and union representatives.


View video from a convening on prison research and innovation, and stay tuned for future events.

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