In order to hold our government agencies and officials accountable, investigative news organizations like The Marshall Project depend on courageous people to share information. To tell stories that need to be told about failure, corruption and wrongdoing, we need people who work in or with criminal justice agencies—or who did before a transition between administrations—to be our guides. And we'll go to every possible length to protect the identities of people who want to share ideas, documents and data with us in confidence.
To help those who have criminal justice stories for us, we’ve put together this short guide on who to contact in our newsroom and the best ways to reach them, particularly if you want to keep your fingerprints off of a story.Who covers what
You might want to start by perusing our staff list. Our reporters and editors are not assigned to specific beats, but many of them have come to specialize in certain criminal justice topics. One thing to keep in mind is that we are journalists, not lawyers. We are not able to investigate innocence claims in individual cases.
Staff writer Maurice Chammah writes about the death penalty, the work of prosecutors and defense lawyers, and violence in prisons and jails, with an emphasis on Texas. His phone number is 212-803-5244, and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Editor Andrew Cohen, a recovering attorney, puts together our email newsletters and writes our regular “Case in Point” feature, profiling cases that shed light on the criminal justice system. His phone number is 212-803-5265, and his email is email@example.com.
Interactive reporter Anna Flagg analyzes and visualizes criminal justice data and has worked on stories about solitary confinement, deportations and line-of-duty police deaths. Her number is 212-803-5212, and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eli Hager has written about juvenile justice, education, family court, fines and fees and the criminalization of poverty. He also edits our “Life Inside” series. His number is 212-803-5211, and his email is email@example.com.
Nicole Lewis has written about the intersection of technology and incarceration and educational/rehabilitative opportunities in prison. She is also interested in women's incarceration. Her number is 212-803-5272, and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deputy managing editor Tom Meagher specializes in data analysis and has written about capital punishment, crime rates and rape reporting. His number is 212-803-5257, and his email is email@example.com.
Joseph Neff has written about attorney misconduct, the bail bond industry and how private entities profit from the justice system. His phone number is 919-812-8615; his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contributing writer Julia Preston covers immigration, including deportation, detention and other enforcement; border issues; immigration courts; immigrant youth and links between immigration and other law enforcement. Her email is email@example.com. To reach her on WhatsApp, please email for further information.
Beth Schwartzapfel has written about parole, juvenile justice, sex crimes, addiction and substance use and health care for those in prison and after their release. Her number is 212-803-5273, and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simone Weichselbaum covers national policing issues, including reform, police leadership and the intersection of politics and technology within the policing industry. Her number is 212-803-5258, and her email is email@example.com.
If you have information you want to share about an area of criminal justice not listed here, you can email our editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.What not to do
If you want to minimize—if not avoid entirely—any visible links between yourself and The Marshall Project, The Intercept offers some good, albeit technical, advice on becoming a whistleblower.
Don’t visit our website at work. Don’t subscribe to our daily newsletter with your work email account. Don’t tell anyone about your plans, and don’t use your work phone or email to contact us. Don't call us from your personal phone either, if you can help it.Protect your messages
Many of our staff members use a technology called PGP (for “Pretty Good Privacy”) to encrypt the contents of our email. This can prevent an outside observer, such as a snooping government agency, from reading what you write to us. If you’re comfortable enough with computers to set up PGP on your machine, you can find our staffers' public keys on their bio pages.
PGP is good for hiding what you write, but it does not obscure the fact that you’re sending something to us, the subject line of the email or the time it is sent — often referred to as “metadata.” If you suspect someone may monitor your email activity, such as your employer, this could be a cause for concern.
We are also big fans of an app called Signal. It makes it very easy to send encrypted text messages or make encrypted phone calls. It's also free and easy to use. If you're comfortable with a smartphone, you can set up Signal. Send us your Signal number through a friend or in the mail so one of our reporters can get in touch with you discreetly.Send us tips anonymously.
If you really want to be anonymous when you contact us, the U.S. mail is a good way to go. Our colleagues at ProPublica offer this advice:
“U.S. postal mail without a return address is one of the most secure ways to communicate — authorities would need a warrant to intercept and open it in transit. Don’t use your company or agency mailroom to send something to us. Mail your package or envelope from an unfamiliar sidewalk box instead of going to a post office. You can mail us paper materials or digital files on, for example, a thumb drive.”
Our mailing address at The Marshall Project is:
The Marshall Project
156 West 56th St., Suite 701
New York, N.Y. 10019
One thing to remember if you want us to pursue your story is that we will need to be able to contact you to verify what you’ve sent us. If you send us something in the mail, please include (inside the envelope) the manner in which you’d like us to reach you.