Marshall Project Originals
Epstein’s Death Highlights A Staffing Crisis in Federal Prisons
A hiring freeze by the Trump administration shrank the federal prison workforce at twice the rate of the declining prison population.
They Got Their Voting Rights Back, But Will They Go to the Polls?
Thousands of Louisianians on probation and parole face numerous obstacles to casting a ballot, including the idea that their votes don't matter.
One Lawyer. Five Years. 3,802 Cases.
In Detroit, court-appointed lawyers for the poor are encouraged to take on large caseloads at the expense of their clients, a new report says.
A Unique Military Program Helps Sexual Assault Survivors. But Not All of Them.
The military gives lawyers to victims. But civilians—who make up hundreds of cases a year—are left to fend for themselves.
Shock Treatment in Court
Stun belts are intended to keep control in the courtroom, but some judges use them to inflict punishment.
Your Arrest Was Dismissed. But It’s Still In A Police Database.
In New York City, officers are illegally using information from arrests that have been sealed, according to a lawsuit. The practice is legal in more than two dozen states.
In an Apparent First, Genetic Genealogy Aids a Wrongful Conviction Case
An Idaho man falsely confessed to a 1996 rape and murder.
Trump Tried to Deport People Faster. Immigration Courts Slowed Down Instead.
A series of policy changes has failed to reduce the ever-growing backlog of cases waiting to be resolved.
The New Price of a Plea Bargain in California
Lawmakers cut criminal sentences; some DAs push back using plea deals.
Can Racist Algorithms Be Fixed?
A new study adds to the debate over racial bias in risk assessment tools widely used in courtrooms.
First Big Scoop: Student Journalists Expose High School’s Use of Prison Labor
“Whatever would come of this, they wouldn’t expel me or anything,” said a 17-year-old reporter. “I’m just presenting the facts.”
First Step Offers Release for Some Prisoners—But Not Non-Citizens
About 750 federal inmates will be transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody starting in mid-July.
The New Dream Act Holds Some Dreamers' Pasts Against Them
The House bill does something unprecedented: It blocks immigrants from citizenship based on their juvenile records.
Court Focuses on Motive as Shooter Pleads Guilty to Killing Muslim Students
Craig Hicks' broad hatred of non-white people lay behind the 2015 crime.
The Murderer Was Full of Hate. But Did He Commit a Hate Crime?
For the Muslim community in North Carolina, motive matters in 2015 student shootings.
In Just Two States, All Prisoners Can Vote. Here's Why Few Do.
In Maine and Vermont, low literacy rates and little access to information means many inmates don’t exercise their right to cast ballots.
More Families of Murder Victims in Louisiana Will Qualify for Financial Help
Lawmakers change rules after Marshall Project report on compensation fund.
The Underground Art of Prison Tattoos
Broken spoons, beard trimmer parts and other ingenious, sometimes dangerous, tools used by incarcerated body artists.
White House Pushing to Help Prisoners Before Their Release
Officials are trying to line up jobs and housing for 2,200 inmates who are scheduled to be freed in July under the First Step Act.
A Monument to Survivors
The Monument Quilt, a testament to those affected by sexual violence, will blanket the National Mall with their words.
Behind Bars for 66 Years
The story of North Carolina’s longest-serving inmate highlights the situation of people with intellectual disabilities in the criminal justice system.
California Law Says This Man Isn’t a Murderer. Prosecutors Disagree
When lawmakers said accomplices aren't the same as killers, Neko Wilson was the first person freed. Now he may go back to jail.
Treatment for Opioid Addiction, With No Strings Attached
Some doctors are abandoning the long-held belief that treating addiction is impossible without talk therapy.
More Immigrants Are Giving Up Court Fights and Leaving the U.S.
‘Voluntary departure’ applications surge as immigrants decide it’s better to return to their native countries than languish in a detention facility.
Do Soldiers Face ‘Double Jeopardy’ in Military Courts?
Sailor sent to prison for manslaughter then faced court-martial on murder charges.
They’re Haunted by ‘Ghost Warrants’ Years After Their Arrests
Outdated or inaccurate charges often linger on people’s records and lead to devastating new stints in jail.
Indiana Safeguards Rights of Parents in Prison
The Marshall Project reported that some incarcerated parents were losing their children forever. Now one state is acting to prevent the severing of family ties.
The U.S. Prison Population is Shrinking
In 2018, the number of prisoners hit a nine-year low. But some states are resisting the trend.
Took a Plea? Brooklyn's District Attorney Will Support Your Parole
Most prosecutors automatically oppose parole requests. Not Eric Gonzalez.
“Blindfold” Off: New York Overhauls Pretrial Evidence Rules
Prosecutors will be required to turn over information to the defense much earlier in a criminal case, among other changes.
Immigration Courts Getting Lost in Translation
Dial-an-interpreter services rankle judges who want in-person translators.
New York City’s Bail Success Story
Judges have drastically cut back on bail and jail in criminal cases, a new study shows. And defendants are still showing up in court.
First Step Act Comes Up Short in Trump’s 2020 Budget
Supporters worry because law seeks $75 million a year for five years, but president’s plan lists $14 million.
Would Expanded Criminal Background Checks Hurt Federal Job Applicants?
Critics oppose disclosing enrollment in drug-court programs and other prison alternatives.
Members of Congress Seek Answers From Prisoner Transport Company
Officials demand details about deaths and sexual abuse on transport vans.
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.
Marshall Project Sues for Memphis Crime Commission Documents
Secretive agency channels money from companies to cops.
When Going to Jail Means Giving Up The Meds That Saved Your Life
How the Americans With Disabilities Act could change the way the nation’s jails and prisons treat addiction.
One Way To Deal With Cops Who Lie? Blacklist Them, Some DAs Say
Newly elected prosecutors won’t take cases from unreliable officers—but are these no-call lists fair?
Trump's War on Immigrants Leaves a Million Lives in Limbo
Migrants in the U.S. and across the globe face turmoil as lawsuits aim to reverse restrictive policies.
What the Government Shutdown Looks Like Inside Federal Prisons
Family visits canceled, guards driving for Uber, rising tensions and more.
Okay, What’s the Second Step?
Now that the First Step Act passed, prison reformers are already making lists.
“All We Have Here is Poverty and Drought”
How climate change is causing a food crisis that is driving Central Americans to the U.S. border.
The Criminal Justice Reform Bill You’ve Never Heard Of
Mitch McConnell’s Senate has quietly passed juvenile justice legislation that would ban states from holding children in adult jails.
The Jerry Brown Way of Pardoning
Former inmates facing deportation place their hope in California's outgoing governor.
The Courts See a Crime. These Lawyers See a Whole Life.
Pairing old-school defense with attention to real-life problems gets people out of jail.
Police Recruiters Have a Few Questions
Have you ever run away from home? What’s your most unusual sex act?
How Jeff Sessions Is Undermining Trump’s Prison Reform Agenda
The president wants to send more prisoners to halfway houses. The Justice Department is doing exactly the opposite.
Nearly a Decade Awaiting Trial, Now Freed
Neko Wilson to be released in the first test of California’s felony murder law.
Scott Dozier Still Wants to be Executed. And He's Still Waiting.
After forcing Nevada into a legal battle over its lethal injection drugs, an execution “volunteer” says the state is punishing him.
Police With Military Experience More Likely to Shoot
Dallas cops who were veterans fired their weapons more than those who never served in the armed forces, study shows.
More Women Are Behind Bars Now. One Prison Wants to Change That.
Connecticut’s WORTH program uses therapy, classes and mentoring to try to keep women from coming back.
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.
Lawyer Accused of Preying on Vulnerable Clients
The North Carolina bar says he fleeced two mentally disabled brothers.
This Agency Tried to Fix the Race Gap in Juvenile Justice. Then Came Trump
A new presidential appointee has quietly changed decades-old federal policies meant to improve racial disparities in youth incarceration.
When Just Being Near Alcohol Lands You In Jail
An antiquated law in Virginia targets “habitual drunkards.”
Dallas County’s Secret Bail Machine
A lawsuit is challenging private hearings that take just seconds.
Why Tennessee Is Challenging the DOJ's Ethics
A clash over evidence that could help defendants has wider implications.
The Right Age to Die?
For some, science is outpacing the High Court on juveniles and the death penalty.
Senators Take Aim at Bail Industry Backers
Cory Booker and Sherrod Brown, both Democrats, want answers from the insurance industry.
More Ex-Prisoners Can Vote — They Just Don’t Know It
Do states have an obligation to educate formerly incarcerated people about their new rights?
Sent to a Hospital, But Locked in Prison
Despite years of criticism, New Hampshire has no place but prison for the dangerously mentally ill.
Can’t Afford a Lawyer?
Civil representation is too expensive for many, but Washington state has one solution
Less Than Zero Tolerance
After Parkland, Sante Fe shootings, policies meant to protect schools may lead to some misguided arrests
License to Clip
A movement to let the formerly incarcerated cut hair and drive taxis is gaining ground.
Another Hurdle For Former Inmates: Their Teeth
For many recently-released prisoners, severe dental issues are just one more barrier to restarting their lives.
Training the Brain to Stay out of Jail
How one ambitious program aims to reduce crime by changing how repeat offenders think.
Inside Family Detention, Trump's Big Solution
The administration is no longer separating them. Now more parents and children will be held at places like this.
Supreme Court Declines to Hear ‘Gay Bias’ Case
Charles Rhines argued jurors sent him to death row in part because they knew he was gay.
He Pocketed His Victims' Organs. Was His Death Penalty Trial Fair?
As Andre Thomas faces execution for three gory murders, a court questions jury bias and his competency.
Corey Williams About to Walk Free in Louisiana
A sudden plea deal ends a decades-long fight in a capital murder case.
Maryland Leads as Prison Populations Continue to Decline
Sentencing reforms still curbing mass incarceration, but some eye reversals.
How Prosecutor Reform Is Shaking Up Small DA Races
The goals of the effort are trickling down, even if the money isn’t.
The City Trying ‘Trauma Training’ for Citizens — and Cops
Newark tries to restore trust with a novel program.
Trump’s Quiet War on Migrant Kids
How the administration is turning child protection into law enforcement
A Lawyer Who Helped an Exoneree Blow Through $750,000 Is Under Investigation
The North Carolina State Bar probes Patrick Megaro.
Seven Years Behind Bars for Two Joints — And Now He’s Free
Bernard Noble, whose case became a symbol of harsh drug laws, walks out of a Louisiana prison.
Why Are Joe Biden and the NRA Endorsing State Judges?
Wisconsin shows off the new normal in judicial elections: political, expensive and often about something else.
The Uncertain Fate of College in Prison
Obama revived Pell grants for prisoners, but the program faces a cloudy future.
Rikers Doesn't Put Teens in Solitary. Other New York Jails Do.
Even after the high-profile death of Kalief Browder, jails in the rest of the state routinely isolate juveniles.
The DAs Who Want to Set the Guilty Free
‘Sentence review units’ would revisit harsh punishments from the past.
Why Oklahoma Plans to Execute People With Nitrogen
The state knows shockingly little about how this would work.
Convicted of a Drug Crime, Registered with Sex Offenders
In Kansas, even many minor drug offenders must appear on the state’s public registry. A new bill would change that.
👀 👀 👀 the Prosecutors
Court Watch NYC is the latest local group monitoring the criminal justice system as it happens.
How Bad is Prison Health Care? Depends on Who’s Watching
A federal judge considers $1 million in fines for one state’s “pervasive and intractable failures.”
A Drug Company Says This Shot Will Keep You Out of Prison
Johnson & Johnson uses the prospect of jail time to market a schizophrenia drug.
North Carolina Fixes a Glitch — For One Guy
After a Marshall Project story, a man serving nine years in jail is moved to a prison.
Defrauded in Prison? Call This Guy
A young California lawyer helps long-term inmates with their white-collar problems.
The Bureau of Prisons Yields to a Chaplain’s Conscience
The bureau relents in a stalemate over pepper spray.
The Ultimate Insider Art
On Tennessee’s death row, the old aphorism applies: art is long, life is short.
Nine Years With No Sunshine
A glitch in North Carolina law is trapping people for years in unequipped jails.
Trump Justice, Year One: The Demolition Derby
Here are nine ways the law-and-order president has smashed Obama’s legacy.
When Your Prison Becomes Your Paycheck
Some states are welcoming back ex-offenders to work behind bars.
New York Cancels Private Prison Care Packages Program
An uproar over cost, selection — and coloring books.
The DOJ Decision That Could Mean Thousands More Deportations
Sessions considers tying the hands of immigration judges.
The Check is in The Mail (For Real)
A California county will issue refunds to parents wrongly billed for their kids’ incarceration.
The Latest Big Win for Prison Privatization
It just got a lot harder to send a care package to New York prisoners.
How New York Could Change the Game for Its Criminal Defendants
Soon after a Marshall Project story, the governor proposes changes to an “outdated” evidence law.
Reimagining Prison with Frank Gehry
Prison as college campus. Prison as wellness center. Prison as monastery.
What the Doug Jones Election Means for Criminal Justice Reform
The Alabama Democrat represents the flip-side of his predecessor.
How Hard is it to Count Violent Crimes?
A new survey finds it’s more difficult than you might think.
Adolescence with an Ankle Bracelet
What it’s like to spend your teenage years tethered to Big Brother.
Where the Poor Face the Death Penalty Without a Lawyer
A budget crunch in Louisiana leads to an unusual wait list.
How Do You Clear a Pot Conviction From Your Record?
It depends on where you live. (Californians, you’re in luck.)
43 States Suspend Licenses for Unpaid Court Debt, But That Could Change
Lawsuits say the practice severely penalizes those too poor to pay.
The Unique Sexual Harassment Problem Female Prison Workers Face
When women report abuse from the men in their custody.
A Timely Prison Project? Or a G.O.P. Congressman’s Boondoggle?
Even the Trump administration casts doubt on the $444-million plan.
‘Restorative Justice’ for Shoplifting? A Court Calls It Extortion
A company’s program, used by Walmart and others, bypasses the cops.
California Ends Practice of Billing Parents for Kids in Detention
The change comes months after a Marshall Project investigation.
What To Do With Violent Sex Offenders
The Supreme Court considers whether “civil commitment” is just prison by another name.
When a Mental Health Emergency Lands You in Jail
Colorado just outlawed jail for people in a psychiatric crisis, but plenty of states still do it.
Why Many Deaf Prisoners Can’t Call Home
Faulty and outdated technology is pervasive, and upgrades are slow in coming.
Nevada Plans to Use Fentanyl in Upcoming Execution
Medical professionals say the state’s new lethal injection protocol “doesn’t make much sense.”
How ICE Uses Secret Police Databases to Arrest Immigrants
Recent lawsuits claim the agency is targeting people for deportation based on spurious allegations of gang connections.
The Great Escape? Par for the Course.
“These guys were absolutely jaw-dropping in their incompetence.”
What’s the Punishment for Theft? Depends On What State You’re In
You can go to prison in Florida for a $300 crime, but it’s $2,500 in Wisconsin.
When the U.S. Deports You — And Keeps All Your Stuff
Border officials are supposed to return personal belongings to people who are deported to Mexico but often don’t.
Ending Solitary for Juveniles: A Goal Grows Closer
Recent rulings in a half-dozen states signal new momentum.
Condemned to Death — And Solitary Confinement
Arizona is set to become the latest state to move away from automatic isolation for death row inmates.
How Fake Cops Got $1.2 Million in Real Weapons
A federal sting reveals lax oversight in the Defense Department’s gear giveaway program.
How to Count the Hidden Prisoners
A new study examines the lingering impact of war-on-crime policies.
When a Witness Confronts the Accused: Is a Courtroom I.D. Fair?
So far, two states say not always, and try to limit the practice.
We Saw Monsters. She Saw Humans.
Scharlette Holdman, pioneering foe of the death penalty, dies at 70.
Federal Watchdog Finds Mentally Ill Are Stuck in Solitary
A new report contradicts a claim from the Bureau of Prisons.
One Bit of Good News for Immigrants in Detention
As a federal program grows, more mentally ill immigrants have access to attorneys.
The Mental Health Crisis Facing Women in Prison
A new study shows a striking disparity between incarcerated men and women.
A Federal Court Asks Jurors to Confront Their Hidden Biases
But is a novel video tutorial the best way? The jury is still out.
How ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Are Helping Immigrants Outwit ICE
Communities across the country are defying the Trump administration on immigration.
He Walked Out of Prison After 11 Years — Now the State Wants Him Back
After 18 months of freedom, Robert Woodall may be headed back behind bars.
For Corrections Officers and Cops, a New Emphasis on Mental Health
An intensive study and new programs to combat stress that often goes overlooked.
Where Crossword Puzzles Count as Counseling
A new lawsuit alleges poor care for mentally ill inmates at one of the highest security prisons in the country.
Justice Department Probes Alleged Abuses on Prison Transport Vans
Almost a year after our story, a preliminary investigation looks closely at one case.
What Are Inmates Learning in Prison? Not Much.
A new survey of 2,000 federal prisoners reveals big gaps in teaching reentry skills.
The New Tool That Could Revolutionize How We Measure Justice
A small nonprofit gathers criminal justice statistics, one county at a time.
Crime Victims Stand to Lose Aid, If Obamacare Goes Away
Without it, state compensation funds would again bear more of the burden.
How Prosecutors Are Fighting Trump’s Deportation Plans
Some D.A.’s urge new discretion on pleas, sentences.
Jury Clears the Prosecutor Who Sent Cameron Todd Willingham to Death Row
John Jackson did not commit misconduct in 1992 case, a jury finds.
A Fresh Take on Ending the Jail-to-Street-to-Jail Cycle
For troubled repeat offenders, a chance at a supportive place to live.
Treating Cancer with Ibuprofen
Medical care is already bad for immigrant detainees. Will Trump policies make it worse?
Congressman Calls for Probe into Private Prisoner Transport
Rep. Ted Deutch, a Florida Democrat, keeps up pressure on the House.
At Least 61,000 Nationwide Are in Prison for Minor Parole Violations
But the number is probably far higher, Marshall Project survey shows.
The Immigration Policy That Ate the Justice Department
Under Sessions’ latest orders, the border is everywhere.
The Fine Print in New York’s Raise the Age Law
Thousands of juveniles could still head right to adult court.
Here are the 7 men Arkansas plans to execute this month
The cases of the condemned capture much of the debate for and against the death penalty.
Another Death on a For-Profit Extradition Vehicle
Federal officials promised last year to look into the mistreatment of detainees, but little has changed.
Cops Win Another Round Pursuing the Prosecutor Who Pursued Them
A judge rules against Marilyn Mosby in the Freddie Gray case.
A New Florida Prosecutor Says ‘No’ to the Death Penalty
But the tough-on-crime establishment fights back.
Prosecutor: It’s Terrorism. Suspect: ‘I Was Just Saying Something Stupid’
If it was just a crazy, drug-induced outburst, is it worth 7 years in prison?
Was Evan Miller ‘The Rare Juvenile’ Who Deserved Life Without Parole?
Now 28, he’ll be re-sentenced, unless the court finds him ‘irreparably corrupt.’
The Seismic Change in Police Interrogations
A major player in law enforcement says it will no longer use a method linked to false confessions.
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.
A Better Way to Treat Addiction in Jail
Medications are effective, but jails are still slow to provide them.
“If Someone is Bringing Drugs into Mar-a-Lago, Police Could Try to Seize it.”
Donald Trump faces a fight on asset forfeiture.
Sessions May Resist Federal Oversight of Police, But There’s Another Option
A California law offers a way for states to reshape troubled departments.
Watch: A New Documentary’s Rare Access Inside Solitary
A filmmaker spends a year inside a Virginia supermax facility.
How Obama Disappointed on the Death Penalty
Two commutations this week was less than many had hoped for.
24,000 Defendants Get a New Chance at Justice in Drug-Lab Scandal
Some deportees gain, too, but no one knows how many are affected.
When Are You Too Stoned to Drive?
The question is trickier than you’d think for police, and the courts, to answer.
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.
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.
Federal Official Urges Probe of ‘Abuse’ on Private Prisoner Transport
It is the latest call for an investigation of the for-profit extradition industry.
The Crucial Immigration Case About to Hit the Supreme Court
With Trump’s pledge to deport millions, bail hearings become an even bigger issue.
8 Ways Jeff Sessions Could Change Criminal Justice
From police to prosecutions to prisons, the AG holds wide sway.
Outside Groups Set Spending Record in Judicial Races
More than $19 million spent on campaigns for top court seats in 27 states.
What Trump’s Win Means for Chicago and Baltimore’s Cops
The president-elect may soon upend an Obama-era police reform tactic.
Making the Case Against Banishing Sex Offenders
Legislators won’t touch the subject, but courts are proving more sympathetic.
When the Cops Take Your Urine by Force
Police want a sample. They can do it the easy way, or they can do it the hard way.
Chicago’s Ousted Top Cop Talks to Common About Race, Guns and Mistrust
A new docu-series, ‘America Divided,’ explores inequality, issue by issue.
A Primer on the Nationwide Prisoners’ Strike
Prisoners can be forced to work without pay — the Constitution says so.
In Some States, Raising the Age for Adult Court Is the Easy Part
But in South Carolina, making the juvenile system more humane will be much harder.
After #Debates2016: What You Need to Know About Stop and Frisk
Collected from around the web by Marshall Project staff.
The Criminal Justice Reform That Could Actually Reach Obama’s Desk
In a year of inaction, a bill that changes the way we treat juveniles makes some headway.
How Mexico Saves Its Citizens from the Death Penalty in the U.S.
A fund is designated to train, pay and advise American defense lawyers.
Do Prison Strikes Work?
Amid a current prison work stoppage, here are five strikes and how they turned out.
The Most Dangerous Neighborhood, the Most Inexperienced Cops
In Chicago and elsewhere, rookies are cannon fodder while vets police the safer neighborhoods.
When an Old Law Makes It Hard to Fix a Troubled Jail
A federal statute from the Carter era favors negotiation, but that can take a long time.
Mississippi Limits Prison Visits to Immediate Family
A strict new policy begins after "a security violation".
Revisiting Attica Shows How New York State Failed to Fulfill Promises
A new book brings attention to the deadly 1971 prison uprising. Reporters for The New York Times and The Marshall Project describe what has changed since then, and what hasn’t.
Does College Hazing Defy the Laws It Spawned?
Many states bar dangerous rituals, but little seems to change.
What You Need to Know About the Private Prison Phase-Out
With the feds cutting back, the companies are down but not out.
Chicago’s Civilian Review Board: Will the New One Be Better?
Advocates seek more independence from police involvement.
The Obama Criminal Justice Reforms That Trump Could Undo
A close look at the “executive actions” that the sweep of a pen could end.
Merger Put on Hold for Prisoner Transportation Company Facing Federal Scrutiny
A proposed deal between Prisoner Transportation Services and its closest rival is delayed after an objection is filed.
Company in Deadly Prisoner Transportation Investigation Puts New Safety Measures in Place
The moves by Prisoner Transportation Services come a month after a Marshall Project story.
Trump Denounces Chicago on Gun Violence, But Is He Leaving Something Out?
A lot of those guns come from neighboring Indiana, the state his running mate leads.
Did the Cop-Killers Have PTSD?
We may never know, because “it is so easy to fall through the cracks.”
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch Will Probe Private Prisoner Transport Industry
Her pledge to lawmakers comes after a Marshall Project investigation into deaths and abuses in the industry.
Who Loves Pokémon Go? The Police.
Officers seize on the latest craze for fun — and plenty of safety tips.
A Professional Bounty Hunter Who Likes the Bail System Just the Way It Is
A star of reality TV, Beth Chapman takes on those who say money bail is unfair.
How a Lawyer Gave Up Corporate Work to Help Exonerees Re-enter Society
When being innocent isn’t enough, you need Jon Eldan.
Are Traffic Stops Prone to Racial Bias?
An attempt to find out confronts a frayed patchwork of data across the country.
When You’re Busted at the Music Festival, Who Ya Gonna Call?
Some defense lawyers have learned to specialize in the realm of excess.
The Scandal-Singed DAs Who Want to Be Judges
For decades, California prosecutors covered up unethical deals with jailhouse informers.
How Easy Would It Be to Recall the Judge in the Brock Turner Case?
A high-profile sexual-assault case provokes demands for pulling the judge off the bench, but such a remedy is rare.
Want to Clear Your Record? It’ll Cost You $450
In Tennessee and other states, former felons can’t always afford it.
For Some Prisoners, Finishing Their Sentences Doesn’t Mean They Get Out
The special problem of being a sex offender.
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.
America’s Loudest Sheriffs: A Reading Guide
Milwaukee’s David Clarke is the latest in a long line of controversy-courting lawmen
Do Public Defenders Spend Less Time on Black Clients?
Some suspect “implicit bias” is not just a problem for police, prosecutors, and judges.
Here’s the New Application that Former Inmates Need to Get Back the Vote in Iowa
How the state defines “simple.”
A Death Sentence in Louisiana Rarely Means You’ll be Executed
Over the last 40 years, reversals have become commonplace.
Should Prisoners Be Allowed to Have Facebook Pages?
A new policy in Texas limits inmates’ access to social media, creating a First Amendment conundrum.
The State That is Taking on the Prison Guards Union
For decades, New York state’s corrections officers union has held the power in disciplinary decisions.
Can the Troubled Cleveland Police Handle a Volatile Republican Convention?
Operating under federal oversight, officers will be scrutinized for how they use force.
Obama Commutes the Sentences of 61 Federal Prisoners
An attempt to further level out crack cocaine sentencing disparities.
DOJ Tells Prisons to Put Safety First in Housing Transgender Inmates
Rules from 2012 are too often ignored, advocates say.
Why Some Prisoners With HIV Get Better Treatment Than Others
A new report says care varies widely between Louisiana’s jails and prisons.
Should Hard-line Prosecutors Be Nervous?
After voters oust two prosecutors for failing to hold police accountable, maybe.
There Are Still 80 ‘Youth Prisons’ in the U.S. Here Are Five Things to Know About Them
They’re harsh, dangerous and isolated — and may be around for a while.
Listen to Our First Collaboration with “This American Life”
“An Anatomy of Doubt,” a young woman’s story of rape and redemption, debuts Friday.
Why Some Prisons are Spending Millions on a Pricey New Drug
Corrections facilities are ground zero for treating hepatitis C — but at a cost.
Watch a Video From “Mariposa and the Saint,” a New Play About Solitary Confinement
The work is based on years of letters between Julia Steele Allen and Sara Fonseca.
Congress Acts to Mark Passports of Sex Offenders
Target of legislation is sex-traffickers; critics call it a ‘scarlet letter.’
Six States Where Felons Can’t Get Food Stamps
Few holdouts remain, as drug-war-era bans on benefits are lifted.
Why Getting Sued Could Be the Best Thing to Happen to New Orleans’ Public Defenders
The ACLU takes the cash-poor agency to court to force the cash-poor legislature to pay.
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.'
The Supreme Court May Have Just Granted Thousands of Prisoners a Chance of Freedom
The Montgomery ruling says juveniles sentenced to life without parole must get a shot at a new sentence or parole.
The Secret Hints for Winning Parole
Brush your teeth, sit up straight, and prepare for disappointment.
Massachusetts Mobilizes to Treat Addicted Moms
Jail time increasingly gives way to residential programs.
Penny Beerntsen, the Rape Victim in ‘Making A Murderer,’ Speaks Out
“My testimony sent an innocent person to prison…. I absolutely wanted the earth to swallow me.”
How We Counted the Juveniles Sent to Prison for Life
A law practice finds thousands whose sentences could be affected by Miller v. Alabama
Miami’s Notorious Jail Fights Back Against Rape
A 5-year turnaround is cited as a model of prevention.
What Everyone Gets Wrong About Christmas Pardons
It’s not true that prisoners get released during the holidays
Deck the Dorm: A Christmas Contest in a Kentucky Jail
The Louisville jail holds an annual competition to bring cheer to a tough time of year
Spotting the ‘Red Flags’ of Abusive Prison Guards
Under pressure, New York says it will better track correctional officers
A Brutal Crime, Often Terribly Investigated
“An Unbelievable Story of Rape” by The Marshall Project and ProPublica underscored the need for improving rape investigations. Here’s how.
John Oliver’s Year in Criminal Justice
A roundup of clips and one-liners from one of the most vocal critics of our prison system.
Why Did It Take the Feds So Long to Probe Chicago Cops?
The Laquan McDonald killing was preceded by years of documented violence.
What Angola's Resigning Warden Is Leaving Behind
For 20 years, Burl Cain both punished and preached.
The Bureaucracy of Mercy
Why hasn’t President Obama freed more prisoners? Maybe that’s the wrong question.
Highlights From Our Death Penalty Discussion
Journalists Liliana Segura, Gabriel Dance and Maurice Chammah took your questions about the death penalty and criminal justice reporting. Here are some of the highlights.
The Death Penalty in 2015
Join us for a chat on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. about the state of the death penalty in 2015, and what's to come in 2016
What it’s Like to be a Cop Involved in a Mass Shooting
“It keeps replaying on a loop: you smell it and see it and hear it.”
The $33 Test in Prison That Could Save Countless Lives on the Outside
Treating Hep C isn’t cheap, but experts say it’s cost-effective.
The Unfolding Campaign to Save the Death Penalty
Supporters rally around a more efficient system of execution.
Need Cash to Hire a Lawyer? Try Crowdfunding
When raising money the old-fashioned way just won’t do.
Could Virtual OBGYN Services Help Stop Miscarriages? One Arkansas Jail Hopes So
Prodded by lawsuits, one jail moves to curb fetal deaths.
Is the U.S. Ready for Safe Injection Rooms?
A widespread heroin problem could open the door to a once-radical idea.
Will Pennsylvania Do Away With Elections for Supreme Court?
An expensive, tough-on-crime race tests the current system.
Is Halloween Really More Dangerous for Kids?
A lack of evidence doesn’t stop cities from rounding up sexual offenders on the holiday.
Obama Defends Black Lives Matter Movement in Talk With The Marshall Project
Editor-in-Chief Bill Keller moderates a White House talk with law enforcement leaders.
What to Know About Our Conversation with President Obama Tomorrow
Join the conversation by submitting your question for President Obama.
Top Cops and Prosecutors Form Alliance to Battle Crime and Prison Crowding
New group backs bipartisan proposals to ease drug sentencing, solitary confinement.
New York City Jail Guards Are Fighting to Keep Their Records Secret
Amid abuse charges, union acts to ‘protect our officers.’
Were These Transgender Prisoners Paroled — Or Just Kicked Out?
Three prisons were ordered to provide transgender health care. Three prisoners were suddenly set free.
A Rural Sheriff Stares Down the Justice Department
In North Carolina case on racial profiling, U.S. suffers its first loss.
How to Fight Modern-Day Debtors’ Prisons? Sue the Courts.
Alec Karakatsanis’s quest to stop courts from punishing poor people who can’t pay their fees.
Ask Bernie Sanders About Criminal Justice, He’ll Talk About Economics
Sidestepping the issue since his days as mayor of Burlington.
Life Without Parole: For Juveniles, 5 Tough Counties
New study places a quarter of the sentences in a handful of urban areas.
Five Things You Didn’t Know About Clearing Your Record
A primer on the complicated road to expungement.
In New York, Padlocked Jumpsuits for Prison ‘EXPOSERS’
An effective way to curb behavior, or ‘an extreme form of restraint’?
The Problem With Hiring Liars to Catch Crooks
Can you really trust an informant who’s been arrested in 43 states?
‘I’m Just Happy to Be Alive’
An Alabama man, wrongfully convicted, overcomes a judicial override to gain his freedom.
A Phone Call From Jail? Better Watch What You Say
A confession, a threat—it’s probably taped. And admissible.
In the Execution Business, Missouri Is Surging
Defense lawyers call it a crisis; the state says it’s just doing its job.
Back on the Agenda: Nebraska’s Death Penalty
A grassroots effort aims to restore what the legislature just ended.
When Prisons Need to Be More Like Nursing Homes
Finding new ways to treat the growing pool of older, ailing inmates.
Doubting Jennifer Herndon
An appeals lawyer who has represented more than a half-dozen men put to death in Missouri faces questions about her competency.
A New York Prison-Yard Search and 10 Cases of Frostbite
Barehanded, inmates are ordered to grip a metal fence in 10-degree weather.
A Second Jailhouse Snitch Claims a Secret Deal With Texas Prosecutor
Another death penalty case, another accusation of misconduct.
When ‘Broken Windows’ Meets Tinted Windows
In New York, darkened car windows lead to more police encounters than stop and frisk.
Narcan: It Saves Lives. Does It Enable Addicts?
For frustrated police, it’s a quick fix but no solution.
Life After Nebraska’s Death Penalty
How other states dealt with their death rows after killing capital punishment.
Why Three Counties That Loved the Death Penalty Have Almost Stopped Pursuing It
A closer look at get-tough DAs.
What We’ve Learned About Racial Disparity in Policing Since Ferguson
A brief overview of the numbers.
The Woman Who Spent Six Years Fighting a Traffic Stop
Getting caught in a speed trap in a small Louisiana town.
The Man Held on $9,999,999 Bail
How a Tennessee judge ensured that an accused cop-killer would not go free.
If You Commit Murder, Do You Have the Right to Vote?
The evolving state of voting rights for prisoners.
How the Supreme Court Made It Legal for Cops to Pull You Over for Just About Anything
Even hanging an air freshener.
Federal Prisons Could Release 1,000 Times More Drug Offenders Than Obama Did
New, retroactive sentencing guidelines begin to kick in.
For the First Time, Vermont Will Search Prison Staffers
The drug use that plagues the state now haunts its cellblocks.
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.
Stung by Abuses at Rikers, New York City Acts on Bail Reform
But the new program would not have helped Kalief Browder.
Is Google More Accurate Than the FBI?
In tracking deaths by police, the tech world might beat Uncle Sam.
How the Law Will Adapt to Oregon’s Legalized Pot
Expunged arrest records, and new jobs for police dogs.
New Jersey Moves to Keep Kids Under 15 From Adult Court
Age restriction would be toughest in the nation.
Ohio Gets a Third Chance to Kill Michael Keenan
A case so messy one judge says it’s an argument for abolishing the death penalty.
What to Read: The Charleston Massacre
Selected news and comment from this morning’s Opening Statement.
Can German Prisons Teach America how to Handle Its Most Violent Criminals?
How Germany does prison, day three.
‘A System That Is Clearly Broken’
A Minnesota sex-offender program is under fire. How long can the state hold people for crimes they have not yet committed?
Germany’s Kinder, Gentler, Safer Prisons
Blank stares and culture shock. How Germany does prison, day two.
Get Caught with Pot, Face Deportation
As states loosen marijuana laws, the consequences for noncitizens remain as strict as ever.
No Bail, Less Hope: The Death of Kalief Browder
A system that kept a teenager in Rikers for three years.
The Possibly Coerced Confession at the Heart of the Bite Mark Case
Re-assessing a videotaped interrogation.
Job Opening: No Training, Low Pay, High Turnover
In Mississippi prisons last year, half the officers quit.
The 17-Year-Old Adults
States are raising the age of who counts as an adult, but it’s no simple task.
Shorter Sentences, Shrinking Prisons
A new report could have a big impact on New York’s prison population — if anyone pays attention.
ATF’s Greatest Hits
Is it time to dismantle the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives?
McVeigh, Garza, Jones, Tsarnaev
A closer look at the three federal inmates who have been executed since the 1960s.
Today marks the deadline for states to comply with prison rape laws. The results? More are, some may not be, and most just want an extension.
A New Conservative Approach to Justice: Serve the Poor
With jails filling up, right to counsel gains favor.
Adding Pepper Spray to the Prison Arsenal
A new Human Rights Watch report assesses use of force behind bars.
A (More or Less) Definitive Guide to Hillary Clinton’s Record on Law and Order
She was for reform before she was against it before she was for it.
Older Prisoners, Higher Costs
A tough, new report says it’s time for federal prisons to release the elderly and infirm.
A Death Penalty Case, or Just Bullying?
High Court’s conservatives bridle at ‘guerilla’ tactics of ‘abolitionist’ movement.
Meet Anthony Batts
A brief, aggregated history of the Baltimore police commissioner at the eye of the storm.
Why is it So Hard for the Justice Department to Curb Police Abuse?
Ask the experts in a Facebook chat Friday at noon ET.
‘There is a Visceral Hatred for the People Who Wear This Uniform.’
Baltimore’s chief on policing in black communities.
Who Told the Truth, Part 2
A hearing in San Antonio revives the ghosts of the satanic abuse trials and questions about the testimony of child victims.
Policing is Not a Part-Time Job
A 25-year-veteran cop says the place for reservists is behind a desk.
Long Shorts and Baggy Shirts
An immigration detention facility tries a new method for curbing sexual assault: Make the women dress differently.
Where Rape Goes Unnoticed
The Prison Rape Elimination Act is making its way into state prisons, but what about all those county jails?
Jolly Ranchers, Sage and Breath Mints
A closer look at a favorite (and unreliable) law-enforcement tool: drug field tests.
Willingham Prosecutor Accused of Misconduct
State bar files charges more than 10 years after execution.
Five Lessons from “The Jinx”
What the HBO documentary series shows us about real-world law enforcement.
The $14 Million Death Sentence
Louisiana tried to sentence five men to death for the murder of a prison guard. It wasn’t cheap.
The Prison Rape Videos: Three Out of Four Stars
The first reviews are in, mostly amazed that New York actually made these films.
Debtors’ Prisons, Then and Now: FAQ
Congress outlawed them. The Supreme Court ruled them unconstitutional. Yet they live on.
Another Death Penalty Moratorium
As Pennsylvania hits pause on capital punishment, the script sounds familiar.
Anyone in Favor of Child Sex Slavery?
Not in Congress. But what do all those anti-trafficking bills actually do?
What You Should Read About Loretta Lynch
A selective guide to the reporting on the next attorney general.
Another Kind of Isolation
The Bureau of Prisons tightens the rules at its secretive “Communication Management Units.”
‘The Garb of Innocence’
Defendants may be presumed innocent — but can judges ensure they look innocent?
The Near Death of Mark Christeson
He was nearly executed because his lawyers missed a filing deadline. Now the Supreme Court has weighed in on what should happen next.
Hands Off My Yacht
Left and right unite against forfeiture laws. But can they convince the Department of Justice? Update: Yes.
Fit to be Killed?
The impending execution of a decorated soldier shows the limits of the PTSD defense.
Crazy or Faking It?
The impending execution of Scott Panetti and the search for a standard of sanity.
Deporting ‘Felons, Not Families’
Obama’s immigration plan has no room for criminals. But what’s a criminal?