The Real Cost of Prisons Project

Founded by Lois Ahrens in 2000, the Real Cost of Prisons Project (RCPP) brings together justice activists, artists, researchers and people directly experiencing the harms of mass criminalization as we work to end the carceral state. The RCPP is committed to bringing the ideas and analysis of people who are incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men and women into our organizing.

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. The comic books are out of print but are available on RCPP website. Over nine years, 135,000 free comic books were sent to organizers, schools and people who are incarcerated throughout the country. The comic books are anthologized in the book, The Real Cost of Prisons Comix, published by PM Press.