Marshall Project Originals
Prison Money Diaries: What People Really Make (and Spend) Behind Bars
We asked people in prison to track their earning and spending — and bartering and side hustles — for 30 days. Their accounts reveal a thriving underground economy behind bars.
Some prison labor programs lose money — even when prisoners work for pennies
Officials claim programs provide skills, but critics say there’s little evidence.
“We All Have An Expiration Date”: The Death of a Prison Writer
Among the many incarcerated people who have died from COVID-19 was Marshall Project contributor Timothy Bazrowx, one of Texas' best chroniclers of prison life.
I Had a Shitty Job in Prison
“Down in a wastewater-treatment pit, I kept furiously shoving the black liquid toward the pump, with a squeegee.”
My Dad Taught Me How to Build Things. Now I’m Doing It in Prison.
“What neither of us knew was that coming to prison would create new worlds for me to build.”
We Thought Our Prison Strike Was a Success. Then Came the Officers in Riot Gear
“Panic ensued as everyone braced for the inevitable attack.”
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.”
What’s Really Happening With the National Prison Strike?
Action is limited so far, but organizers are cheering the media attention.
The California Inmates Fighting The Wine Country Wildfires
Photographer Brian L. Frank captures the lives of men on the fire lines and at home in prison conservation camps.
Sentenced to Life in Prison — And a Job Making Furniture
Employee perks: None, really, unless you count the nail gun fights.
The Accident That Changed My Life in Prison
An inmate remembers his bond with a prison employee who was more than just “one of them.”
A Primer on the Nationwide Prisoners’ Strike
Prisoners can be forced to work without pay — the Constitution says so.