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.
Are we missing a record? Tell us.
Marshall Project Originals
The Untold Story of How Crack Shaped the Justice System
In a new book, a journalist wrestles with how lessons from America’s response to crack resonate in the opioid era.
Q&A • 11.06.2023
How Chicago Got Its Gun Laws
It’s nearly impossible to separate modern-day gun laws from race.
Feature • 03.24.2023
The War on Gun Violence Has Failed. And Black Men Are Paying the Price.
In Chicago and elsewhere, gun possession arrests are rising as shootings go unsolved.
Feature • 03.23.2023
Drug Addiction and the Paths to Prison
We learn how prosecutors can turn one of the darkest days in a mother’s life into a prison term, and hear Tarra Simmons’ journey from behind bars to writing laws.
Inside Story • 03.02.2023
Don’t Expect Mass Prison Releases From Biden’s Marijuana Clemency
The president’s mass pardon may signal a shift in the federal approach to cannabis, but it won’t let anyone out of prison.
Closing Argument • 10.15.2022
Biden Could Have Taken the War on Drugs Down a Notch. He Didn’t.
A little-noticed law could make it easier to punish people for low-level drug crimes — and put them in prison for longer with less proof.
The Lowdown • 06.16.2021
Will Drug Legalization Leave Black People Behind?
Even in states that have legalized or decriminalized marijuana possession, Black people are still more likely to be arrested for it than White people. These organizers are working to change that.
Analysis • 11.11.2020
How the United States created the largest immigrant detention system in the world.
Feature • 09.24.2019
Three Strikes Didn’t Work. It’s Time to Pay Reparations
Black and brown men paid the price for supplying what the recreational drug market demanded: cocaine and weed.
Commentary • 08.26.2018
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.
News • 04.12.2018
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.
News • 03.08.2018
Trump Justice, Year One: The Demolition Derby
Here are nine ways the law-and-order president has smashed Obama’s legacy.
News • 01.17.2018
How Do You Clear a Pot Conviction From Your Record?
It depends on where you live. (Californians, you’re in luck.)
News • 11.27.2017
How to Count the Hidden Prisoners
A new study examines the lingering impact of war-on-crime policies.
News • 07.18.2017
Why Trump’s Wall Won’t Keep Out Heroin
It’s the easiest drug to traffic in small batches, and it is very lucrative.
Commentary • 02.16.2017
Everything You Think You Know About Mass Incarceration Is Wrong
Or at least misleading, says this contrarian scholar. Here’s why it matters.
Analysis • 02.09.2017
The War on Drugs Isn't Even Working in Prison
Frequent urine tests, controversial scanners, and false positives.
Life Inside • 04.14.2016
Bill Clinton, “Black Lives” and the Myths of the 1994 Crime Bill
Pause the debate for some inconvenient history.
Commentary • 04.11.2016
A Prosecutor’s Regret: How I Got Someone Life in Prison for Drugs
“At the end of my life, I’d like to know that I wasn’t responsible for Lewis Clay spending his final days in prison.”
Life Inside • 04.07.2016
‘Justice and Redemption Go Hand in Hand.’
A closer look at the president’s speech on criminal justice reform.
Analysis • 07.15.2015
David Simon on Baltimore’s Anguish
Freddie Gray, the drug war, and the decline of “real policing.”
Q&A • 04.29.2015
Jolly Ranchers, Sage and Breath Mints
A closer look at a favorite (and unreliable) law-enforcement tool: drug field tests.
News • 04.02.2015
The Missed Opportunity of Robert Woodson
One conservative black activist’s campaign for community crime control.
Commentary • 02.25.2015
Yes, Mr. President, Incarceration Rates have Dropped ...
… But just a tiny bit, and it took a long time.
Justice Lab • 01.21.2015