More than 200,000 people are serving life sentences in U.S. prisons today, and most of them are locked in state correctional facilities. The vast majority of lifers are people of color, about 30% are people age 55 and older, and an increasing number are women.
About 203,000 Americans are currently set to die behind bars. In 1970, there were less than 200,000 people in America’s entire prison system.
The Long Term is a hand-drawn animation developed by artists serving long term sentences.
The video uses personal narrative and research to describe the scale and impact of long term sentencing policies. The work tells the stories about the fear of dying inside, the feeling of being programmed by prison and the impact on family life, from the perspective of 11 artists serving life or long term sentences.
The Sentencing Project reports that 1 in 9 people in prison are serving life sentences, and 1 in 7 have sentences of fifty years or more.
People locked in, or headed to, maximum security prisons are marked for death-by-incarceration.