A Way Out: Abolishing Death By Incarceration in Pennsylvania (2018) is a seminal report grounding the struggle against mass incarceration in the state of Pennsylvania and beyond. According the report, Philadelphia County has 2,694 people serving life without parole sentences (LWOP), more accurately described as “death by incarceration” (DBI). This figure is more than any other county in the United States and far more than any other country in the world. Pennsylvania has 5,346 people serving DBI sentences, making Pennsylvania state a national leader in the use of the punishment; only Florida, with twice the population, has more people serving DBI sentences. Researchers of this report found that most of the people serving DBI were convicted and sentenced when they were 25 or younger (a period of life when brain development and maturation remains ongoing) and more than 70% of those serving DBI are over 40 and nearly half (2,377 people) are over 50.
Date of Publication: September 18, 2018