Marshall Project Originals
My Dad Went to Prison When I Was 5. Now I Write About Families Like Mine
Growing up with a father who was incarcerated didn’t define me. But it certainly taught me to challenge stereotypes and ask better questions.
The Long Journey to Visit a Family Member in Prison
Remote prison towns and strict visitation policies make it hard to stay in touch.
The Awful Thing I Saw in Prison That Stunned Me Into Silence
"It was the kind of moment that you witness but your brain just rejects; you can’t believe what you just saw."
An Irrevocable Separation
When the government executed Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the welfare of their two boys was a secondary concern.
I Followed My Mom to Prison and to a Degree
“This is the path my life had to take so I could be strong.”
Caring for My Sick Husband From Prison
A federal inmate feels helpless as her partner’s health deteriorates.
New York Cancels Private Prison Care Packages Program
An uproar over cost, selection — and coloring books.
The Latest Big Win for Prison Privatization
It just got a lot harder to send a care package to New York prisoners.
The Big Business of Prisoner Care Packages
Inside the booming market for food in pouches, clear electronics, pocket-less clothing and other corrections-approved goods.
What to Never Ask a Prison Wife
People say the darndest things when they hear your spouse is incarcerated.
We are Witnesses
The American criminal justice system consists of 2.2 million people behind bars, plus tens of millions of family members, corrections and police officers, parolees, victims of crime, judges, prosecutors and defenders.
How to Have a Jail Wedding in 3 Minutes
For two women getting hitched at Rikers Island, the ceremony was short and bittersweet.
California Ends Practice of Billing Parents for Kids in Detention
The change comes months after a Marshall Project investigation.
Why Many Deaf Prisoners Can’t Call Home
Faulty and outdated technology is pervasive, and upgrades are slow in coming.
I Can’t Visit My Sons in Prison Because I Have Unpaid Traffic Tickets
A mother with debts — and cancer — wonders if she’ll ever see her incarcerated children again.
Philadelphia Will Stop Billing Parents When Their Children Are Incarcerated
The announcement comes just hours after we highlighted the practice.
Your Kid Goes to Jail, You Get the Bill
For 40 years, many parents have had to pay for their children's incarceration, but that may be changing.
When a Wedding Narrowed the ‘Emotional Distance’ of Prison
For the best man, a fleeting moment of humanity.
Child Support Relief Coming for Incarcerated Parents
In the last days of the Obama administration, regulators quietly ease the child support burden on parents in prison.
Mississippi Limits Prison Visits to Immediate Family
A strict new policy begins after "a security violation".
What You Do While You Wait for Your Husband to Go to Prison
“Drive whenever you go anywhere, get your financial house in order, finalize your will, take baths, and cry.”
The Day My Brother Took a Life and Changed Mine Forever
I grew up idolizing my brother. Then he killed a man.
How I Break Prison Rules to Keep in Touch with My Family
“Sometimes I won’t hear from my family in years.”
The Radio Show That Reunited Inmates and Families
“Shout outs” on the air led to van rides to the supermax.
Massachusetts Mobilizes to Treat Addicted Moms
Jail time increasingly gives way to residential programs.
Watch Alvin Ailey Dancers Rehearse a Piece About Being Locked Up
A choreographer explores separation and alienation in our prison system.
For Men in Prison, Child Support Becomes a Crushing Debt
New regulations would give parents in prison the right to pause child support payments, but opponents say it undercuts welfare reform.
‘I Reviewed Jail on Yelp Because I Couldn't Afford a Therapist.’
Why people are using sites like Yelp to vent and offer tips about prison and jail.
You Can’t Go Home Again
Surprising new research suggests parolees who go somewhere new are less likely to offend again.
‘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.
Why they’re disappearing, which states still use them, and what really happens during those overnight visits.