Marshall Project Originals
Tackling a Huge Taboo: Sexual Desire Behind Bars
On the outside, most discussions about incarceration and sexual desire are limited to exploitative “reality” shows, violent movies and terrible jokes about homosexuality and prison rape. But like all humans, we deserve some semblance of dignity.
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.”
Trade Your Prison Sentence for a Smartwatch?
Another dubious get-out-early offer is spreading through federal prisons. Lawyers say it’s a fake.
The Growing Racial Disparity in Prison Time
A new study finds black people are staying longer in state prisons, even as they face fewer arrests and prison admissions overall.
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.
Nearly a Decade Awaiting Trial, Now Freed
Neko Wilson to be released in the first test of California’s felony murder law.
Getting Out of Prison Meant Leaving Dear Friends Behind
“We leaned on each other. We found reasons to laugh while in agony.”
Sending Even More Immigrants to Prison
Despite Jeff Sessions’ new zero-tolerance mandate along the border, the Justice Department has prioritized immigration offenses for years.
How I’m Preparing for Parole After 27 Years in Prison
“With my new lease on life, I still remember the one I took.”
Why This Judge Dreads Execution Day
“I wondered whether the system I have been a part of for so long was, simply, barbaric.”
The DAs Who Want to Set the Guilty Free
‘Sentence review units’ would revisit harsh punishments from the past.
Waiting for Justice
One man’s seven-year wait for a trial reveals the ways mandatory minimums distort our courts.
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.
How to Count the Hidden Prisoners
A new study examines the lingering impact of war-on-crime policies.
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.
The Man Who Spent 35 Years in Prison Without a Trial
The Jerry Hartfield case is an extraordinary tale of justice delayed and denied.
How Prosecutors Are Fighting Trump’s Deportation Plans
Some D.A.’s urge new discretion on pleas, sentences.
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.’
What We Can Learn from the Amazing Drop in Juvenile Incarceration
Lesson One: Don’t make policies when emotions are running high.
How Obama Disappointed on the Death Penalty
Two commutations this week was less than many had hoped for.
John Grisham on the State of Criminal Justice
“There are thousands of innocent people in prison serving long sentences for crimes committed by others.”
In Alabama, You Can Be Sentenced to Death Even if Jurors Don’t Agree
Judges have uniquely uncommon power in the state.
Death by Another Name
California Prop 62 would repeal the death penalty. A lifer says it doesn’t go far enough.
David Clarke, the Trump-loving, pro-mass-incarceration Fox News favorite, is challenging criminal-justice reform—and stereotypes.
Why Some Young Sex Offenders Are Held Indefinitely
Jhon Sanchez already served his time for a series of sex offenses he committed when he was 13. But he’s not free yet. Inside the world of civil commitment.
Five Things Wrong With Georgia’s Death Penalty
On the eve of the next execution, a look at the state’s history of bad lawyering and faulty evidence.
What You Need to Know About the New Federal Prisoner Release
Five reasons it is (and is not) a big deal.
‘...No One Thinks About How [New Research] Will Actually Be Implemented.’
A selection of recent letters from our readers.
The New Science of Sentencing
Should prison sentences be based on crimes that haven’t been committed yet?
Federal Prisons Could Release 1,000 Times More Drug Offenders Than Obama Did
New, retroactive sentencing guidelines begin to kick in.
Yes, Mr. President, Incarceration Rates have Dropped ...
… But just a tiny bit, and it took a long time.
Right and Left Unite on Drug Sentencing. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Will Senator Grassley kill the Smarter Sentencing Act?