The Marshall Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system. We have an impact on the system through journalism, rendering it more fair, effective, transparent and humane.
There is bipartisan agreement that the criminal justice system needs reform. Our reporting has shown that it perpetuates racial and economic inequities, costs taxpayers billions of dollars a year, and is toxic to those it incarcerates — and often to those who work in it. Police, courts and prisons are repositories of crises they are ill-equipped to handle, including mental illness, addiction and poverty. And victims of crime often feel re-traumatized by a system that is supposed to protect them.
Although we are not advocates, The Marshall Project often spurs change. Our journalism exposes wrongs, bringing them to the attention of officials who can take action. We give visibility to proposals and critiques from the criminal justice community. And we try to set an example for other media to cover criminal justice issues fairly and responsibly.
We partner with both national and local media outlets to reach diverse audiences who can be awakened to the issue. Our journalism informs criminal justice experts who need fresh and accurate information to do their best work. We also aim to serve and engage the millions of people whose lives have been ensnared in the criminal justice system, and whom the media have too often neglected and marginalized.
The Marshall Project has impact. A few examples:
Our data tracker is the nation’s most authoritative source on coronavirus behind bars, updated weekly and cited hundreds of times by policymakers and media.
We won our first Pulitzer Prize for our story about the botched investigation of a rape case, which led to better training for how first-responders approach victims of sexual assault.
Our second Pulitzer-winning investigation, into violence using police dogs, prompted departments from Indiana to Louisiana to change their policies.
The Department of Justice started an investigation after our story about the private business of prisoner transport.
Teenagers and pregnant women are no longer held in solitary confinement because of our investigation into Tennessee jails.
Thousands of cameras were installed in New York’s infamous Attica prison after we revealed the extent of violent abuse by guards.
You can read more about our impact here.
Our name is a tribute to Thurgood Marshall, a towering figure in the civil rights movement. We are committed to building and retaining a diverse staff and board, who bring a variety of experiences and perspectives to bear on the issues we cover. Read more about how we are building a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization in our annual diversity report.