This new research from and Cornell University examines the important but often overlooked aspects of over-incarceration in America, and how its impact extends beyond the prison walls on to the families on the other side.


These groundbreaking estimates on family incarceration stem from the results of online and phone surveys conducted on a nationally representative sample of 4,041 adults age 18 and older in the summer of 2018. The survey was conducted in...

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Research Team

The survey was developed and overseen by a team of experts with deep knowledge of mass incarceration and survey methodology. This team included a contingent of researchers at Cornell University who have worked together extensively...

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Survey Development

The survey was developed in three stages, with a focus on the definition of immediate and extended family. In the first stage, the research team developed and circulated draft questions. In the second stage, the research team and

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Survey Methodology

The survey was fielded by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. NORC maintains a well-regarded AmeriSpeak panel. NORC uses field staff for in-person recruitment to enhance the number of young adults,...

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All of the analyses of the survey data collected by NORC were weighted to be representative of the American adult population. All estimates were produced by members of the research team and staff and cross-checked for accuracy. All...

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Download the data used to produce this report:

For additional data formats and documentation, visit the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University. All the code used to generate the estimates is also available free of charge on the Roper website.

In addition to making the code data used in this report available immediately and free of charge, the full data contained in the survey will be available through the Roper Center free of charge on September 1, 2019.

About the Education Fund, Inc.

The Education Fund is a bipartisan organization that believes America’s families, communities, and economy thrive when everyone has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. For too long, our broken immigration and criminal justice systems have locked too many people out from the American dream. Founded by leaders in the technology and business communities, we seek to educate the American public about the impact of these failed systems and empower and support the communities that they directly impact.

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1 in 2 adults in America has had a family member in jail or prison.

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