Wendy Sawyer

Wendy Sawyer is the Policy Analyst at Prison Policy Initiative. Wendy earned a Master’s in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University and a Bachelor’s in Afro-American Studies from the University of Massachusetts. She has worked as an investigator for the Civilian Complaint Review Board in New York and as a research associate for the Institute on Race and Justice in Massachusetts. She is the author of Punishing Poverty: The high cost of probation fees in Massachusetts, a report comparing probation rates and incomes across the state, which shows that probation fees hit poor communities hardest.
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Prison Food: A Public Health Problem

This past fall, a new report from Prison Voice Washington detailed the decline in food quality served in the state's correctional facilities. While incarcerated people often voice complaints about (very real) quality-of-life issues related to food service, there is a broader public health concern here: the long-term health consequences of forcing incarcerated people to consume unhealthy food. The Prison Voice Washington report The report from Prison Voice Washington reveals how changes in food … [Read more...]

Another Century of Mass Incarceration?

It’s that time of the year again, when many of us like to take stock and commit to changes that will bring us closer to our goals. It’s not a bad time for policymakers to do the same. Here at the Prison Policy Initiative, we often find it useful to look back at how our criminal justice system has evolved over time. Year-to-year fluctuations are less distracting from that perspective, so we can also identify the pivotal political changes that have had truly dramatic impacts, like the “tough on … [Read more...]