What are records? Since 2014, The Marshall Project has been curating some of the best criminal justice reporting from around the web. In these records you will find the most recent and the most authoritative articles on the topics, people and events that are shaping the criminal justice conversation. The Marshall Project does not endorse the viewpoints or vouch for the accuracy of reports other than its own.
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Marshall Project Originals
Federal Prisons Are Over Capacity — Yet Efforts to Ease Overcrowding Are Ending
The Bureau of Prisons’ system is in trouble and needs serious upgrades on several fronts.
Closing Argument • 01.06.2024
Violence on the Inside, Mentorship From the Outside
We investigate violence at one of the newest federal prisons and talk with La La Anthony about preparing incarcerated youth for life on the outside.
Inside Story • 03.23.2023
Federal Prisons Were Told to Provide Addiction Medications. Instead, They Punish People Who Use Them.
Congress directed the Bureau of Prisons to make Suboxone and other medications widely available, but only a small fraction of those who need the help have received it.
News • 12.12.2022
The Art of Bidding, or How I Survived Federal Prison
When Eric Borsuk went to prison with his two best friends, they found their ‘bid’ — their purpose — together. Then one day, everything changed.
Life Inside • 09.22.2022
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.
News • 06.14.2022
Five Things to Know About One of the Deadliest Federal Prisons
Key takeaways from our investigation into deaths and abuse at a U.S. penitentiary.
Analysis • 05.31.2022
How the Newest Federal Prison Became One of the Deadliest
Fatal beatings. A “torture room.” Pairs of men held around the clock in tiny cells, tempers rising. “They’re literally afraid for their lives,” one lawyer said.
Feature • 05.31.2022
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.”
Life Inside • 01.14.2022
An Ode to Memo, the Cellmate and Art Teacher Who Saved My Life
After decades in the system, I was acting like a wild horse roaming the countryside. Memo taught me how to paint through the chaos.
Life Inside • 11.04.2021
31,000 Prisoners Sought Compassionate Release During COVID-19. The Bureau of Prisons Approved 36.
As the pandemic worsened inside federal prisons, officials granted fewer releases.
News • 06.11.2021
They’re Going Back to Prison. But They Didn’t Commit New Crimes.
A court battle over an obscure Tennessee statute freed these men from prison. Years later, they were told they must return.
Feature • 02.26.2021
Trump’s Pardons Show The Process Has Always Been Broken
Donald Trump’s volatile approach to granting clemency epitomizes a system that many have long hoped to change.
Analysis • 01.19.2021
These Federal Prison Guards Are Desperate for Trump to Lose
Unlike many law enforcement unions that endorsed the president, Bureau of Prisons staff argue he's anti-union.
News • 11.05.2020
Prisoners Won The Right To Stimulus Checks. Some Prisons Are Standing In The Way.
A federal judge ruled prisoners can get the $1,200 checks many Americans received in the spring. Some prison systems are putting up roadblocks, lawyers and prisoners say.
News • 10.21.2020
Thousands of Sick Federal Prisoners Sought Compassionate Release. 98 Percent Were Denied.
Wardens blocked bids for freedom as COVID-19 spread behind bars, data shows.
News • 10.07.2020
Byron Miller’s Race Against Time
Months ago, the attorney general ordered pandemic prison releases. After 24 years behind bars, Miller is one of many still waiting for a ticket home.
Feature • 09.19.2020
Before Election, Trump Tries To Stack Prison-Sentencing Agency With Right Wing Allies
The U.S. Sentencing Commission, required by law to be bipartisan, helps set prison terms for more than 70,000 people every year.
News • 09.17.2020
Freed From Prison, Dead from COVID-19, Not Even Counted
Officials’ missteps at Butner made it the deadliest federal lockup.
Feature • 07.10.2020
Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort Got to Leave Federal Prison Due to COVID-19. They’re The Exception.
Just a small fraction of federal prisoners have been sent home. Many others lack legal help and connections to make their case.
Coronavirus • 05.21.2020
Coronavirus Ended His Shot at a Second Chance
The case of Patrick Jones, the first federal prisoner to die from COVID-19, epitomizes national debates about criminal justice reform.
Coronavirus • 04.03.2020
How Bill Barr’s COVID-19 Prisoner Release Plan Could Favor White People
Only 7 percent of black men would be deemed low-risk enough to get out using the federal prison system’s risk assessment tool, according to an analysis.
Coronavirus • 03.28.2020
“They Don’t Care:” Families Of The Incarcerated Fear The Worst As Coronavirus Spreads
With in-person visits suspended nationwide, people with loved ones behind bars say they’re being left in the dark.
Coronavirus • 03.26.2020
Trade Your Prison Sentence for a Smartwatch?
Another dubious get-out-early offer is spreading through federal prisons. Lawyers say it’s a fake.
News • 01.28.2020
Chuck Coma Comes Home
He was one of the thousands of people assaulted in federal prisons each year. After his cellmate nearly killed him, he returned to his family a broken man.
Feature • 12.17.2019
A Thirst for Justice
“They booked me into a cell where there was a paper sign over the toilet saying DON’T DRINK THE WATER.”
Life Inside • 09.12.2019
Want to Time Travel Back to the 80s? Visit a Prison “Typing Room”
“The typing room is where the optimism of naive, hopeful, recently incarcerated inmates goes to die.”
Life Inside • 09.05.2019
The Federal Prisoner Transit System—aka “Diesel Therapy”—Is Hell
Highlights of prisoner travel include gang fights, overflowing toilets and two weeks shackled to a neo-Nazi.
Life Inside • 08.15.2019
Money-Making Schemes That Ensnare Prisoners and Their Families
If it sounds too good to be true, legal experts say, it probably is.
Analysis • 08.09.2019
I'm in Prison During the Shutdown. I Didn't Get "Holiday Steak."
There will be beans (there's always beans). And half of a chicken.
Life Inside • 01.17.2019
What the Government Shutdown Looks Like Inside Federal Prisons
Family visits canceled, guards driving for Uber, rising tensions and more.
News • 01.07.2019
Treatment Denied: The Mental Health Crisis in Federal Prisons
The Bureau of Prisons set higher standards for psychiatric care. But instead of helping more inmates, the agency dropped thousands from its caseload, data shows.
Feature • 11.21.2018
Old, Sick and Dying in Shackles
“Compassionate release” has bipartisan support as a way to reduce the federal prison population and save taxpayer money. New data shows that it’s rarely used.
Feature • 03.07.2018
Federal Watchdog Finds Mentally Ill Are Stuck in Solitary
A new report contradicts a claim from the Bureau of Prisons.
News • 07.12.2017
Meet the Full-Service Social Media Secretary for Prisoners
How Renea Royster gives prisoners access to the digital world.
Feature • 06.28.2016
There Are Practically No Juveniles in Federal Prison — Here’s Why
Obama takes bold action, but for a population of fewer than 30
Analysis • 01.27.2016