Marshall Project Originals
How I Convinced My Incarcerated Peers to Make Language a Priority
Rahsaan Thomas, an imprisoned journalist, has long fought to change the way outside media describe people in prison. One of his toughest crowds? His fellow reporters.
People-First Language Matters. So Does the Rest of the Story.
While we have to be aware that any word we choose has influence, no amount of Googling will reveal the magic word that brings justice into American prisons.
The Language Project
Rethinking the words journalists use to talk about people who are currently or previously incarcerated.
What Words We Use — and Avoid — When Covering People and Incarceration
Journalism is a discipline of clarity. That’s why we’ve solidified our policy about how we talk about people who are currently in or have previously been in prison and jail.
I Was Trained to Call Prisoners a Word They Hated
As correctional officers, we are conditioned to call prisoners ‘inmates.’ But at Sing Sing, where I worked for 25 years, that was as bad as calling them a snitch.