Marshall Project Originals
Why Would Prisons Ban My Book? Absurdities Rule the System
Censorship kept me from finishing a college essay behind bars. Now, prisons might keep readers from my memoir.
The Books Banned in Your State’s Prisons
We asked all state systems for book policies and ban lists, then created a database for you.
Why Millions of Americans Will Be Left Out of the Midterms
Even in states where some people with felony convictions — and those awaiting trial in jail — have the right to vote, actually casting a ballot remains difficult.
How Conservatives Are Trying to Shut Down the Progressive Prosecutor Movement
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis removed an elected prosecutor from office. Will this become the right’s new tactic?
Two Strikes and You’re in Prison Forever
Why Florida leads the nation in people serving life without chance of parole.
He Got a Life Sentence When He Was 22 — For Robbery
Black men are most affected by Florida’s two-strikes law.
As Corrections Officers Quit in Droves, Prisons Get Even More Dangerous
Fewer guards lead to more lockdowns, rising tensions and scant access to healthcare.
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.
How We Survived COVID-19 In Prison
At the start of the pandemic, we asked four incarcerated people to chronicle daily life with the coronavirus. Here, they reveal what they witnessed and how they coped with the chaos, fear, isolation and deaths.
As States Expand Vaccine Eligibility, Many People in Prison Still Wait for Shots
Despite CDC advice to vaccinate prisoners quickly, two-thirds of states lag behind the general population.
The Sheriff’s Race Pitting Trump Against Black Lives Matter
Will demands for law enforcement accountability reach popular tough-on-crime sheriffs? A Florida race offers a test.
They Agreed to Meet Their Mother’s Killer. Then Tragedy Struck Again.
A Florida family opted for restorative justice over the death penalty for the man who murdered their mom. What happened next made them question the very meaning of justice.
A Year After Prison, He Has a Job, a Fiancée—And a Week Left of Freedom
Richard Midkiff spent 23 years behind bars. A dispute over his decades-old plea deal could send him back for 15 more.
Federal Prison Factories Kept Running as Coronavirus Spread
Prisoners made furniture and license plates during the pandemic, according to workers and families. Some plants are now making face masks.
Can Better Data Fix Florida’s Prisons?
A landmark law lets the state track people through the justice system. But that’s tougher than it sounds.
Voters Want Criminal Justice Reform. Are Politicians Listening?
Midterms show wide support across party lines for changing the system.
Florida’s Election Shows the True Promise of Restoring Voting Rights
With the passage of Amendment 4, more than a million people intimately affected by the criminal justice system have become more empowered to shape it.
Lawyer Accused of Preying on Vulnerable Clients
The North Carolina bar says he fleeced two mentally disabled brothers.
The Victims Who Don’t Count
Seven states won’t give victim aid to people with criminal histories. The policies fall hardest on black families.
Taking Police Reform to Trump Country
Meet Sheriff Michael Chitwood, a Yankee cop in good-ol’-boy territory.
A New Florida Prosecutor Says ‘No’ to the Death Penalty
But the tough-on-crime establishment fights back.
These Prosecutors Campaigned for Less Jail Time — And Won
Reform-minded candidates unseat incumbents in some races.
New Strategy for Justice Reform: Vote Out the DA
A battle in Tampa reflects a shift across the country.
In Florida, Only Seven Jurors Can Put You to Death
The other quirk in the state’s death penalty system.
Florida Wrestles With the Death Penalty, One Case at a Time
Someone else has confessed. The DNA evidence points elsewhere. What does it take to get off death row?
My Memories of Being in Prison with Whitey Bulger
Tales of the “pale, white-haired, geezer in a wheelchair.”
A New Blow to Florida’s Death Penalty
The U.S. Supreme Court says state judges cannot sentence death without a jury’s mandate
Miami’s Notorious Jail Fights Back Against Rape
A 5-year turnaround is cited as a model of prevention.
‘It Takes a Certain Kind of Magic to be able to Survive This Kind of Separation.’
A 32-year-old woman on what it’s like being engaged to someone serving a life sentence, long-distance romantic gestures, and the cost of each visit.
Florida’s Record on Rape
A closer look at the Sunshine State’s history of undercounting, or altogether ignoring, sexual abuse in its prisons.
Welcome to Miracle Village
Photographer Sofia Valiente captures the lives of a community of sex offenders.