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
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.
Life Inside • 11.18.2021
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.”
Life Inside • 05.21.2021
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
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.
News • 12.03.2019
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.
News • 05.23.2019
Nearly a Decade Awaiting Trial, Now Freed
Neko Wilson to be released in the first test of California’s felony murder law.
News • 10.18.2018
Getting Out of Prison Meant Leaving Dear Friends Behind
“We leaned on each other. We found reasons to laugh while in agony.”
Life Inside • 05.31.2018
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.
Analysis • 05.20.2018
How I’m Preparing for Parole After 27 Years in Prison
“With my new lease on life, I still remember the one I took.”
Life Inside • 04.26.2018
Why This Judge Dreads Execution Day
“I wondered whether the system I have been a part of for so long was, simply, barbaric.”
Life Inside • 04.12.2018
The DAs Who Want to Set the Guilty Free
‘Sentence review units’ would revisit harsh punishments from the past.
News • 03.20.2018
If You Can’t Kill It, Join It
Trump’s nominee to this panel called it “an overfed lemur.”
News • 03.15.2018
Waiting for Justice
One man’s seven-year wait for a trial reveals the ways mandatory minimums distort our courts.
Commentary • 02.07.2018
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.
News • 08.09.2017
How to Count the Hidden Prisoners
A new study examines the lingering impact of war-on-crime policies.
News • 07.18.2017
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.
News • 06.18.2017
The Man Who Spent 35 Years in Prison Without a Trial
The Jerry Hartfield case is an extraordinary tale of justice delayed and denied.
Case in Point • 06.12.2017
The Problem with the Justice Department
It’s a building full of prosecutors.
Commentary • 05.30.2017
How Prosecutors Are Fighting Trump’s Deportation Plans
Some D.A.’s urge new discretion on pleas, sentences.
News • 05.16.2017
When Justice Gets Personal
A judge examines the impact on those he sentences.
Life Inside • 05.04.2017
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.’
News • 03.12.2017
Inside the Clemency Lottery
The difference between the freed and the left-behind was often luck.
Commentary • 01.26.2017
What We Can Learn from the Amazing Drop in Juvenile Incarceration
Lesson One: Don’t make policies when emotions are running high.
Commentary • 01.24.2017
How Obama Disappointed on the Death Penalty
Two commutations this week was less than many had hoped for.
News • 01.18.2017
John Grisham on the State of Criminal Justice
“There are thousands of innocent people in prison serving long sentences for crimes committed by others.”
Q&A • 01.02.2017
Unchecked and Unbalanced
The case of Clifton Harvin pits judges against judges.
Case in Point • 12.19.2016
In Alabama, You Can Be Sentenced to Death Even if Jurors Don’t Agree
Judges have uniquely uncommon power in the state.
Feature • 12.07.2016
Death by Another Name
California Prop 62 would repeal the death penalty. A lifer says it doesn’t go far enough.
Crime on the Ballot • 10.23.2016
Why Prince’s Death Shouldn’t Lead to Bad Drug Policy
Lessons learned from the crack epidemic.
Commentary • 06.06.2016
David Clarke, the Trump-loving, pro-mass-incarceration Fox News favorite, is challenging criminal-justice reform—and stereotypes.
Feature • 05.04.2016
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.
Feature • 01.27.2016
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.
Commentary • 11.18.2015
What You Need to Know About the New Federal Prisoner Release
Five reasons it is (and is not) a big deal.
Analysis • 10.29.2015
13 Words That Could Mean Freedom for Many
The debate over the federal ‘residual clause.’
News • 10.19.2015
The Clintons Aren’t the Only Ones to Blame for the Crime Bill
Black leaders also embraced it.
Commentary • 10.07.2015
When Heroin Hits the White Suburbs
Suddenly it’s not a crime problem, it’s a health problem.
Analysis • 08.12.2015
‘...No One Thinks About How [New Research] Will Actually Be Implemented.’
A selection of recent letters from our readers.
What You're Saying • 08.10.2015
The New Science of Sentencing
Should prison sentences be based on crimes that haven’t been committed yet?
Feature • 08.04.2015
Federal Prisons Could Release 1,000 Times More Drug Offenders Than Obama Did
New, retroactive sentencing guidelines begin to kick in.
News • 07.23.2015
Yes, Mr. President, Incarceration Rates have Dropped ...
… But just a tiny bit, and it took a long time.
Justice Lab • 01.21.2015
Right and Left Unite on Drug Sentencing. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Will Senator Grassley kill the Smarter Sentencing Act?
News • 11.17.2014