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The Marshall Project highlights criminal justice issues that often go overlooked or that people in power want to hide. Support from readers like you helps us keep criminal justice on the front page. Because that’s how change happens. With just $8,573 left to go, you can help us reach our goal of $15,000 for this fall campaign.

News Inside

You Blocked My Freedom and My Liberty, But Don’t Block My News

Getting News Inside into prisons and jails isn’t easy during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we remain committed to putting lifesaving information in your hands.

I tossed and turned all night after reading my colleague Nicole Lewis’s piece about incarcerated people and the COVID-19 vaccine, “We Asked People Behind Bars How They Feel About Getting Vaccinated.” People on the inside are making life-or-death decisions that can affect us all. They need information from a trusted source to make those decisions.

It’s daunting to be responsible for delivering that information. At the same time that we’re trying to inform as many incarcerated people as we can, facilities are prioritizing day-to-day operations to curb the spread of COVID-19. The curveballs that come with managing thousands of people confined in one space take precedence over getting our publication into their hands.

Yet Rome wasn’t built in one day, and neither is the trust that comes from the access to bona fide journalism. You’ll understand what I mean after you read this issue. Along with the story mentioned above, we offer “What People in Prison Need to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine,” in both English and Spanish. This explainer answers many of the questions incarcerated people have asked us about how the vaccine works, potential side effects and more.

Elsewhere in this issue is “How Trump Made a Tiny Christian College the Nation’s Biggest Prison Educator.” It explores how Ashland University came to dominate federally funded tablet-based college programming. “A Question of Violence” is another head-scratcher about a stand-up dude in San Quentin who, despite his accomplishments, is haunted by the word “violence.” And “Will Drug Legalization Leave Black People Behind?” focuses on racial disparities in the legal marijuana trade.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

The pages from Issue 7. You can download the PDF here.

To make things fun, we’ve added a crossword puzzle. Readers can go at it cold if they think they’re sharp enough. But they’d be wise to read the articles first, because, get this...the answers are inside! I encourage correctional officers to give it a try too. A little infotainment never hurt anyone.

Ultimately, I would like everyone to have the experience that Bruce Bryan, who is incarcerated in Sing Sing prison, had after reading a few issues of News Inside. “I feel like I don’t know shit!” said Bruce. “I mean, I think I’m a pretty smart guy who knows a thing or two about New York, but it’s amazing how much I didn’t know about prisons across the country and the criminal justice system.”

In the words of the late, great Notorious B.I.G., “If you don’t know, now you knowww...”

To request a News Inside subscription for an incarcerated person in your life, fill out this form.

Before you go...

Can you help us make a difference?

The Marshall Project produces journalism that makes an impact. Our investigation into violence using police dogs prompted departments from Indiana to Louisiana to change their policies. Thousands of cameras were installed in the infamous Attica prison after we revealed the extent of violent abuse by guards. Municipalities stopped charging parents for their kids’ incarceration because of our reporting. Supreme Court justices have cited us, along with incarcerated people acting as their own lawyers.

The deeply reported and painstakingly edited investigations we produce take persistence, significant resources and, above all, time. That’s why we need your support. Donations from readers like you allow us to commit the time and attention needed to tell stories that are driving real change. Your support goes a long way toward sustaining this important work..

We’re still just over $8,000 short of our goal of $15,000 for this fall campaign — if you’re able, please donate today. We’re extremely grateful to each and every donor who helps power our journalism. We could not do it without you.

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Lawrence Bartley is the director of “News Inside,” the print publication of The Marshall Project which is distributed in hundreds of prisons and jails throughout the United States. He is an accomplished public speaker and has provided multimedia content for CNN, PBS, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC and more. News Inside is the recipient of the 2020 Izzy Award for outstanding achievement in independent media.