Marshall Project Originals
In Harm’s Way
How decades-old decisions to build two California prisons in a dry lakebed and a chaotic climate left 8,000 incarcerated people at risk.
Here’s How I Use My Story to Teach Incarcerated Kids That Writing Matters
At 18, Bobby Bostic was sentenced to 241 years in prison. Now out on parole, he’s sharing the healing power of writing in juvenile detention centers.
Fighting the High Cost of Prison Phone Calls
Tired of exorbitant phone bills, prisoners and their families are pushing to lower costs.
How ‘Cruel and Not Unusual’ Conditions Persist in Many Lockups
Insight from a discussion with journalists, formerly incarcerated people and experts.
Some of Our Best Work of 2022
From coverage of prison violence and abuses in a juvenile lockup to investigations by our new Cleveland team, our reporters told stories that made a difference.
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.
Lawmakers Call for Probe Into Deadly Federal Prison
Following a Marshall Project/NPR report detailing violence and abuse at the newest federal penitentiary, three members of Congress asked the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate.
Burned to Death in a Prison Cell
After years of warnings about broken fire alarms, two men have now died in blazes at Texas prisons.
They Went to Prison as Kids. Now They’re on Death Row.
Fight clubs, solitary confinement and neglect make juveniles angrier and more violent.
People in the Scandal-Plagued Federal Prison System Reveal What They Need in a New Director
“This is kind of like AA: To move forward, first you have to admit there’s a problem.”
Omicron Has Arrived. Many Prisons and Jails Are Not Ready.
Experts fear “another potential tinderbox scenario” akin to the early days of the pandemic.
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.
The Marshall Project Wins Collier Prize for State Government Accountability
Award Shared with Mississippi Today Recognizes “Mississippi Penal System, Uncovered,” Series on Practices in State Prison System
A Half-Million People Got COVID-19 in Prison. Are Officials Ready for the Next Pandemic?
People who live and work in prisons worry they remain vulnerable, even as life behind bars returns to business as usual.
Life Behind the Wall
Sure, prisons and jails are dangerous places. But everyday life inside isn’t as explosive as TV and movies make it look.
The United States of Incarceration
The United States locks up more people per capita than any other developed country. Here’s why.
Is Violent Crime Rising In Cities Like Trump Says? Well, It’s Complicated.
Trump speaks of "anarchy and mayhem" in cities. Here's what the data really shows.
Your Local Jail May Be A House of Horrors
But you probably wouldn’t know it, because sheriffs rule them with little accountability. After one man's death in a notorious lockup, residents of a Missouri town fought back.
Their Unlikely Alliance Began at Whataburger. Can They Reform a Texas Jail?
When COVID-19 threatened the jail in Tyler, Texas, an activist pressured her sheriff to make change.
Mississippi Prisons: No One’s Safe, Not Even the Guards
Too many prisoners, too few officers leads to violence.
Who Begs To Go To Prison? California Jail Inmates
Effort to cut prison overcrowding puts some jails in crisis.
Why Is Karl Taylor Dead?
Our prisons are our mental wards. One fatal case in New York shows where that can lead.
Prison Is Already Scary. It's Even Worse During a Blackout
As darkness fell, nerves got rattled and rumors spread.
Nine Years With No Sunshine
A glitch in North Carolina law is trapping people for years in unequipped jails.
“Cooking Them to Death”: The Lethal Toll of Hot Prisons
As the climate changes, inmates without air-conditioning have no escape from extreme heat.
Sandra Bland, One Year Later
Her death at a Texas jail spurred a striking amount of reform talk across political lines.
The Deadly Consequences of Solitary With a Cellmate
Imagine living in a cell that’s smaller than a parking space — with a homicidal roommate.
Inside the 'Shithouse,' the Prison Unit Where Troubled Inmates Throw Feces at Guards
What it’s like to slowly lose your mind in the grossest corner of the prison-industrial complex.
How to Get Out of Solitary — One Step at a Time
New programs are easing inmates out of years of solitary confinement with surprising outcomes for both prisoners and corrections officers.
What Angola's Resigning Warden Is Leaving Behind
For 20 years, Burl Cain both punished and preached.