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SP2 Penn Top 10: Ending Mass Incarceration

Prison cells

Faculty & Research


smaller PTT logoSince 1970, the number of people in prison has grown by 700 percent and the intersecting problems of homelessness, incarceration and substance use are causing staggering social and economic damage to our society. But researchers are optimistic that these issues can be improved.

As part of the signature SP2 Penn Top 10 initiative, Toorjo Ghose and Malitta Engstrom from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) examine criminal justice reform, multi-level solutions, and turning talk into action.

Learn more about the SP2 Penn Top 10 issues, check out interviews with the authors and watch / share the complementary animations below:

The Intersecting Problems of Substance Use, Incarceration and Homelessness Create Risk in Urban Neighborhoods

Ending Mass Incarceration Requires Transforming Talk into Action

“The long-term effects of mass incarceration reach millions and are disproportionately experienced by people who are African American, Hispanic/Latino, experiencing mental health and substance use problems, and affected by poverty and limited education.”

Mass incarceration is one of the many crucial social justice and policy issues analyzed and addressed in the “SP2 Penn Top 10 Social Justice & Policy Issues for the 2016 Presidential Election.”

Exclusive content and essays on the “top 10” issues is available now on Also available is the new SP2 Penn Top 10 workbook, a dynamic, user-friendly publication that features all abridged essays, key statistics, policy recommendations and voter resources to inform conversations and decisions leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

SP2 Penn Top 10 seeks to educate, enlighten and empower a diverse audience of voters and policymakers from all walks of life.