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The Real Cost of Prisons Project brings together justice activists, artists, researchers and people directly experiencing the impact of mass criminalization to work to end mass incarceration.

The Real Cost of Prisons Project is a national organization, begun in 2000. The RCPP created workshops, a website visited by 1,500 people a day and which includes sections of writing and comix by prisoners. In 2005, we created and published three comic books: Prison Town: Paying the Price, Prisoners of the War on Drugs and Prisoners of a Hard Life: Women and Their Children. 135,000 free comic books have been sent to organizers, schools and prisoners throughout the country. The comic books are no longer in print but can be downloaded and printed from this website. The comic books are anthologized into the book, The Real Cost of Prisons Comix, published by PM Press. In 2008, the book won the PASS Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

The Real Cost of Prisons focuses on ending extreme sentencing such as Life Without the Possibility of Parole and the harsh and damaging conditions of confinement faced by every prisoner in the United States.

In Massachusetts, the RCPP's recent work includes organizing to stop the Department of Corrections degrading policy of dogs sniffing all visitors, including young children, while they wait for hours to see family and friends and working to stop new prison and jail building.

The RCPP is committed to bringing the ideas and analysis of prisoners and formerly incarcerated men and women to the forefront so we can more authentically challenge and change the destructive beliefs and costly systems that drive mass criminalization.


Art by Carnell Hunnicutt

The Real Cost of Prisons Project thanks the Ramsay Merriam Fund for their generous support on-going support.

© 2003-2011 The Real Cost of Prisons Project