Marshall Project Originals
Federal Judge Eyes a ‘Last Resort’ Fix for New York City’s Jails
Record deaths at Rikers Island may lead to a federal takeover as criticism mounts.
My Friend Jordan Neely Was Homeless and in Mental Distress. But He Was Not Expendable.
Jordan Neely was choked to death on a New York City subway car. Mentor and fellow Michael Jackson enthusiast Moses Harper recalls who he was in life.
A Rikers Officer Had Sex With a Detainee. It Took 7 Years to Fire Him.
The officer also asked the woman to cover up that another Rikers guard sexually assaulted her.
Why So Many Jails Are in a ‘State of Complete Meltdown’
Overcrowding, violence and abuse proliferate at jails across the country, as staffing problems make long-simmering problems worse.
I Spent Over 40 Years Working in Corrections. I Wasn’t Ready for Rikers.
Rikers Island jail complex “reflects our nation’s racist and destructive fixation on imprisonment,” writes former New York City jails commissioner Vincent Schiraldi. “It’s Exhibit A for why we need to end mass incarceration.”
Dispatch From Deadly Rikers Island: “It Looks Like a Slave Ship in There.”
Rikers Island has been notorious for violence and neglect for decades. But detainees, corrections officers and officials tell us the New York City jail complex has plunged into a new state of emergency.
Stopping Violence Over Prison Phone Time? There’s an App for That.
While Corey Devon Arthur was quarantining, people in the unit got tablets equipped with telephone apps. “If we all had the option to use a phone app, the value of violence would plunge,” he writes.
The Cruel Irony of Social Distancing When You’re Stuck in Solitary
Our running joke: ‘You may go crazy in here, but at least you won’t get corona.’
I Was at Rikers While Coronavirus Spread. Getting Out Was Just as Surreal.
“My family is my family. I am used to our little quirks. But I am still getting used to what's going on outside.”
Why Jails Are So Important in the Fight Against Coronavirus
With about 200,000 people flowing into and out of jails every week, there are great risks not only for the detained, but also for jail workers and surrounding communities.
When Purell is Contraband, How Do You Contain Coronavirus?
Handwashing and sanitizers may make people on the outside safer. But in prison it can be impossible to follow public health advice.
It Was My Job to Tell the Truth About Jails
“Anyone not touched by the system was unlikely to understand: Going to jail actually marks a story’s beginning.”
New York City’s Bail Success Story
Judges have drastically cut back on bail and jail in criminal cases, a new study shows. And defendants are still showing up in court.
Bad Bail Practices and Immigration Policy Led To My Client’s Death At Rikers
Selmin Feratovic might be alive today if not for our deeply broken system.
What Kalief Browder’s Mother Thinks Should Happen to Rikers
‘There was nothing I could do with him being in there.’
New York City Jail Guards Are Fighting to Keep Their Records Secret
Amid abuse charges, union acts to ‘protect our officers.’
‘Children Do Not Have the Same Capacity as Adults to Control Their Reactions.’
A selection of recent letters from our readers.
Stung by Abuses at Rikers, New York City Acts on Bail Reform
But the new program would not have helped Kalief Browder.
Join Our Facebook Chat On Rikers Island
Bill Keller, Dana Goldstein, Alysia Santo and Eli Hager will answer your questions on what life is like on Rikers, and recent reform efforts.
Kalief Browder was a Good Kid. Should That Matter?
The not-so-nice kids don’t deserve to be brutalized, either.
Why Carlos Montero Has Been in Rikers for Seven Years Without Trial
Blame the judge, lawyers, and DNA.
No Bail, Less Hope: The Death of Kalief Browder
A system that kept a teenager in Rikers for three years.
Fixing the Jail Where Kalief Browder was Held
Former corrections chief Martin Horn has some ideas for Rikers Island.