Marshall Project Originals
The New Price of a Plea Bargain in California
Lawmakers cut criminal sentences; some DAs push back using plea deals.
Who Begs To Go To Prison? California Jail Inmates
Effort to cut prison overcrowding puts some jails in crisis.
I Was a Juror on a Murder Trial, And I Still Can’t Let It Go
“I felt an overwhelming sense of injustice. How did this happen?”
Why I Quit My Prison Gang
“The whole experience, I realized, was like a strange mix between junior high school and the Roman Senate.”
How One County Became a Lab for California’s Prison Reform
San Joaquin went all in. Now it’s a model.
The Jerry Brown Way of Pardoning
Former inmates facing deportation place their hope in California's outgoing governor.
Nearly a Decade Awaiting Trial, Now Freed
Neko Wilson to be released in the first test of California’s felony murder law.
So Much for The Great California Bail Celebration
The first state to abolish cash bail. Why are proponents so unhappy?
Can It Be Murder If You Didn’t Kill Anyone?
A distinctly American legal doctrine holds getaway drivers and lookouts as responsible for a death as the actual killer. California is having second thoughts.
California Voters Reject Prosecutor 'Reformers'
Candidates backed by Soros, others are still pressing ahead in other parts of the country.
Thelton Henderson transformed California’s criminal justice system. Now comes the backlash.
The Check is in The Mail (For Real)
A California county will issue refunds to parents wrongly billed for their kids’ incarceration.
Adolescence with an Ankle Bracelet
What it’s like to spend your teenage years tethered to Big Brother.
43 States Suspend Licenses for Unpaid Court Debt, But That Could Change
Lawsuits say the practice severely penalizes those too poor to pay.
The California Inmates Fighting The Wine Country Wildfires
Photographer Brian L. Frank captures the lives of men on the fire lines and at home in prison conservation camps.
California Ends Practice of Billing Parents for Kids in Detention
The change comes months after a Marshall Project investigation.
Katie's father went to prison for raping her and her brothers. It was an unthinkable crime that broke her family apart. So why couldn't she remember it?
Afraid of Jail? Buy an Upgrade
How California's pay-to-stay jails create a two-tiered justice system.
Sessions May Resist Federal Oversight of Police, But There’s Another Option
A California law offers a way for states to reshape troubled departments.
The Death Penalty is Alive and Well
Voters in three states approve measures to strengthen capital punishment.
Death by Another Name
California Prop 62 would repeal the death penalty. A lifer says it doesn’t go far enough.
Three States to Watch if You Care About the Death Penalty
Nebraska, Oklahoma, and California will test the prospects of abolition.
It’s Not Just Pot and the Death Penalty
Four important ballot measures you probably haven’t heard of.
The War on Drugs Isn't Even Working in Prison
Frequent urine tests, controversial scanners, and false positives.
The Prison Visit That Cost My Family $2,370
How loved ones bear the hidden cost of shipping inmates out of state.
One Man’s Haunting Look at PTSD and His Brother’s Execution
The Oscar-nominated short ‘Last Day of Freedom’ traces the troubled life of a black veteran.
Rarely Seen Images of the Real San Quentin
Thousands of photos, unearthed after decades, form an archive of daily life.
Security Warnings by U.S. Preceded California Jail Break
Three inmates had a 16-hour head start after fleeing lock-up that had ‘poor supervision.'
Getting a Hustle: How to Live Like a King Behind Bars
From moonshine to tattoos to balloons of drugs.
The Unfolding Campaign to Save the Death Penalty
Supporters rally around a more efficient system of execution.
Were These Transgender Prisoners Paroled — Or Just Kicked Out?
Three prisons were ordered to provide transgender health care. Three prisoners were suddenly set free.
When Prisons Need to Be More Like Nursing Homes
Finding new ways to treat the growing pool of older, ailing inmates.
Prisoners Who Fight Wildfires in California: An Insider’s Look
For $2 a day, “It’s a hairy adventure, let me tell you.”
‘Children Do Not Have the Same Capacity as Adults to Control Their Reactions.’
A selection of recent letters from our readers.
A Record of Trouble
California looks to halfway houses, finds a company cited for violence and escapes.