Marshall Project Originals
I Joined the Parole Board to Make a Difference. Now I Call It ‘Conveyor Belt Justice.’
Between the grueling schedule, copious paperwork, abrupt hearings and risk-averse colleagues, prison reformer Carol Shapiro realized the New York parole system was dysfunctional by design.
The Criminal Justice Issue Nobody Talks About: Brain Injuries
I know firsthand what it’s like to navigate the criminal justice system with a brain injury caused by domestic violence. I also live with the fact that an injury like mine can turn a victim into a perpetrator.
After a Decade on Parole, I Saw 2021 As a Fresh Start. Life Had Other Plans.
A workplace injury derailed Alfonso Cobb’s progress, but the Arkansas wood factory worker is still holding on to his freedom dreams.
Mr. Sitthivong Goes to Washington
Felix Sitthivong, who is serving 65 years in a Washington prison, recently testified before the state’s House Public Safety Committee in support of a bill that could decrease his time. “They can stall our bills,” he writes of the “disappointing” outcome, “but they can never stall our dedication.”
A Dangerous Limbo: Probation and Parole in the Time of COVID-19
Closed courts, faulty technology and delays in post-release programs are among a range of barriers keeping a population prime for release behind bars.
Probation and Parole Officers Are Rethinking Their Rules As Coronavirus Spreads
Social distancing is pressing officials across the country to skip traditional methods such as jailing people for “technical violations” like missing check-ins.
People on Probation and Parole Are Being Denied Perfectly Legal Medical Weed
Despite statewide legalization, some counties ban probationers and parolees from using medical marijuana. So the chronically ill turn to less effective and more addictive prescription drugs.
He Was 17 When He Went To Prison. How Much Should That Matter To The Parole Board?
If William Palmer wins in court, thousands could get closer to exiting California prisons.
What I Think About When I Think About Freedom
“It’s conflicting, I imagine, to hear how someone who once took a life thinks about living a good life.”
How More Than 50 Women Walked Out of a Prison in Oklahoma
The state slashed sentences for more than 500 people convicted in low-level drug and theft cases.
My GPS-Tracked Life on Parole
“Even in prison, I didn’t feel so overwhelmed with worry about doing something wrong when I’m doing everything right.”
Took a Plea? Brooklyn's District Attorney Will Support Your Parole
Most prosecutors automatically oppose parole requests. Not Eric Gonzalez.
Want to Shrink the Prison Population? Look at Parole.
Missouri lawsuit says that the state’s parole process puts too many people back behind bars.
Louisiana’s Taurus Buchanan Wins Parole After 25 Years
At 16, one deadly punch sent him away for life. The Supreme Court gave him a second chance at freedom.
Want to Escape a Criminal Past? Move to Alaska (Like I Did)
After I left prison, nobody would hire me. So I threw a dart at a map.
How I’m Preparing for Parole After 27 Years in Prison
“With my new lease on life, I still remember the one I took.”
For Henry Montgomery, a Catch-22
His “meaningful opportunity for release” came with impossible conditions.
When Less is More
How putting fewer people on probation and parole can reduce prison populations, save money and keep us safer.
The Day I Found Out About My Dad's Parole
The teenage son of an incarcerated man braces for news that could bring his father home.
At Least 61,000 Nationwide Are in Prison for Minor Parole Violations
But the number is probably far higher, Marshall Project survey shows.
A Parole Hearing in New York, With a Governor’s Blessing This Time
A ‘60s radical faces very different political atmosphere than her co-defendant did a decade ago.
It’s Not Just Pot and the Death Penalty
Four important ballot measures you probably haven’t heard of.
When Parole Boards Trump the Supreme Court
The high court has said most kids shouldn't be sentenced to life without parole, but some prisoners' fate are in the hands of politics.
Why it’s Hard to be a Lifer Who’s Getting Out of Prison
After 34 years inside, sometimes you never feel free.
Were These Transgender Prisoners Paroled — Or Just Kicked Out?
Three prisons were ordered to provide transgender health care. Three prisoners were suddenly set free.
Life Without Parole
Inside the secretive world of parole boards, where your freedom may depend on politics and whim.
Nine Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Parole
For example: Most states don’t require board members to have any experience with the criminal justice system.
How to Investigate Parole Release Rates in Your State
Help us localize our national story on parole.
You Can’t Go Home Again
Surprising new research suggests parolees who go somewhere new are less likely to offend again.
‘I Spend Just as Much Time Protecting Felons from Society.’
A New York parole officer on GPS monitoring, the biggest challenges facing former inmates, and whether parole makes a difference.