Marshall Project Originals
How Long Can You Hide a Dead Body in a Prison Cell?
Mental-health problems, short staffing plague a Texas lockup in COVID lockdown.
Their Unlikely Alliance Began at Whataburger. Can They Reform a Texas Jail?
When COVID-19 threatened the jail in Tyler, Texas, an activist pressured her sheriff to make change.
“It Was An Execution”: Nicolas Chavez Was On His Knees When Police Killed Him. His Father Wants Answers.
The Houston shooting has sparked more questions about use of force and what many experts call the failed promise of police body cameras.
“I Begged Them To Let Me Die”: How Federal Prisons Became Coronavirus Death Traps.
The Bureau of Prisons was unprepared and slow to respond. Then officials took steps that helped spread the virus.
New Hope for People Who Claim Racism Tainted Their Death Sentence
The North Carolina state Supreme Court has upheld the controversial Racial Justice Act, which opponents repealed in 2013
We Were Gassed, Arrested, and Maybe Exposed to COVID-19
The things that make mass arrests especially awful are now health risks.
First Came The Pandemic, Then Came the Raw Sewage
As if coronavirus wasn’t bad enough, plumbing problems are making life in some Texas prisons even more miserable.
While I Wasted Time in Prison, My Mom Died of a Broken Heart
My mom was by my side the first time I went away. The second time was just too much.
Ahmaud Arbery and the Local Legacy of Lynching
How the white vigilante killing of the unarmed, black jogger in Brunswick, Georgia, is both an echo of past violence and a modern call to action.
What Women Dying In Prison From COVID-19 Tell Us About Female Incarceration
Fatal victims illuminate women’s unique problems in prison, and the all-too-common ways they get there in the first place.
Introducing “Tutwiler,” a new Marshall Project/Frontline documentary about women in an Alabama prison who support each other through pregnancy, labor and saying goodbye to their newborns.
Prisons Are Coronavirus Hotspots. This Town’s Got Five of Them.
“I have a bad feeling about this,” says the former mayor of Palestine, Texas.
Texas Prison Officers: We Asked For Face Masks In 2017. COVID-19 Got Here First.
A state spokesman says the system has more than 100,000 N95 masks, but it’s unclear how many have been given to officers or prisoners.
These Prisons Are Doing Mass Testing For COVID-19—And Finding Mass Infections
Health experts say not testing staff could be a blind spot.
Tracking the Spread of Coronavirus in Prisons
A new Marshall Project effort has collected data on the prevalence of COVID-19 among prisoners and prison staff. Here's what we know after one month of reporting.
“How Do I Defend People Now?”
Public defenders rely on in-person, confidential meetings with clients. They say COVID-19 makes their jobs nearly impossible.
The Judge Will See You On Zoom, But The Public Is Mostly Left Out
Volunteers who monitor courts across the country say they are getting little access to online-only proceedings.
Federal Prison Factories Kept Running as Coronavirus Spread
Prisoners made furniture and license plates during the pandemic, according to workers and families. Some plants are now making face masks.
Coronavirus Ended His Shot at a Second Chance
The case of Patrick Jones, the first federal prisoner to die from COVID-19, epitomizes national debates about criminal justice reform.
Federal Prisons Agency “Put Staff in Harm’s Way” of Coronavirus
Orders at Oakdale in Louisiana help explain COVID-19 spread.
Coronavirus Restrictions Stoke Tensions in Lock-ups Across U.S.
As COVID-19 fear grows among prisoners and guards, concerns rise about possible unrest.
Freed From Prison After 26 Years—Into a Coronavirus Hotspot
During the COVID-19 crisis, people coming home after decades behind bars find loved ones in quarantine, dire job prospects and overwhelmed social services agencies.
How Is The Justice System Responding to the Coronavirus? It Depends On Where You Live.
While some cities free people from jail and stop arrests, others are much more business as usual.
How Coronavirus is Disrupting the Death Penalty
Colorado abolished capital punishment. But COVID-19 is pausing it everywhere else.
“I Want to See my Child.” Juvenile Lockups Cut Visits Over COVID-19 Fears
Families fret about isolated youth behind bars.
North Carolina Prisoners Still Working in Chicken Plants, Despite Coronavirus Fears
“Kinda defeats the ban on visitation, which was to protect inmates and mainly staff,” critic says.
The Beto Effect: Transforming Houston's Criminal Justice System
New judges change courtroom culture as well as bail rules.
Mississippi Prisons: No One’s Safe, Not Even the Guards
Too many prisoners, too few officers leads to violence.
Anna Wolfe and Michelle Liu win February Sidney Award
Their investigation exposed modern-day debtors prisons in Mississippi.
Newsrooms Rethink a Crime Reporting Staple: The Mugshot
Confronted with the photos’ lasting impact, some news websites no longer use them as click-bait.
They Went to Jail. Then They Say They Were Strapped to a Chair for Days.
Allegations in a Missouri lawsuit shed light on how some jail officials use restraint chairs, which have been linked to dozens of deaths.
What’s in a Name?
New lawsuits by transgender people challenge bans on name changes for those convicted of crimes.
How We Investigated Mississippi’s Modern-Day Debtors Prisons
A tip led us to a little-known program that affected hundreds of poor workers.
Think Debtors Prisons Are a Thing of the Past? Not in Mississippi.
How the state’s “restitution program” forces poor people to work off small debts.
Mississippi Prison Killings: Five Factors Behind the Deadly Violence
Understaffing, powerful gangs and constant lockdowns brew tensions that exploded last week.
Can You Hear Me Now?
Prison officials tout video visitation’s convenience. Families say they’re paying high rates for second-rate service
His Appeal in Louisiana Was a Sham Proceeding. But the High Court Won’t Review the Case.
Louisiana automatically rejected appeals from prisoners who represented themselves. One prisoner hoped the Supreme Court would consider his conviction in the light of that scandal.
How Do You Prove You’re Innocent If You’re On Death Row?
Rodney Reed faces execution in Texas despite mounting evidence of innocence and bipartisan support.
How Did They Run an Elaborate “Sextortion” Scam From Prison? Cellphones.
Victim’s family pushes for a high-tech crackdown—but it may not work.
How More Than 50 Women Walked Out of a Prison in Oklahoma
The state slashed sentences for more than 500 people convicted in low-level drug and theft cases.
Why Some Police Departments Are Leaving Federal Task Forces
Cities say the feds won’t follow their rules about using force, body cams.
'Tutwiler' Reveals the Heartbreak of Pregnancy in Prison
A new documentary from The Marshall Project and Frontline (PBS) offers a rare look at the lives of expectant mothers inside a notorious women’s prison.
Do Deportations Lower Crime? Not According to the Data
A new study casts doubt on the effectiveness of a program that encourages local police cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.
Tennessee's Voter Restoration Gauntlet
The state’s byzantine felony disenfranchisement laws keep hundreds of thousands of formerly incarcerated residents from registering to vote.
What Gate Money Can (And Cannot) Buy
Most states give money to people leaving prison. But some formerly incarcerated people say it's often not enough to meet their basic needs.
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.
Money-Making Schemes That Ensnare Prisoners and Their Families
If it sounds too good to be true, legal experts say, it probably is.
Racism Tainted Their Trials. Should They Still Be Executed?
North Carolina Supreme Court hearings raise broad questions of systemic bias in the state judicial system.
Shock Treatment in Court
Stun belts are intended to keep control in the courtroom, but some judges use them to inflict punishment.
Corporate Confession: Gangs Ran This Private Prison
What happened in Mississippi when no one wanted dangerous, low-paying guard jobs.
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.
More Families of Murder Victims in Louisiana Will Qualify for Financial Help
Lawmakers change rules after Marshall Project report on compensation fund.
D’Angelo Burgess Fled From Police. Does That Make Him a Killer?
An Oklahoma case raises issues about both felony murder charges and high-speed police pursuits.
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.
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.
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.
Can Better Data Fix Florida’s Prisons?
A landmark law lets the state track people through the justice system. But that’s tougher than it sounds.
A Man Died in a Private Prison Van. The Company Says: Not Our Problem
How the dangerous prisoner transport business has dodged responsibility for “gross negligence.”
A DNA Test Might Help Exonerate This Man. A Judge Won’t Allow It.
North Carolina judge denies testing in a 1992 murder case, but lawyers want shell casings examined.
The Father, the Son and the Holy Buck
A capital case in Alabama raises the question: are you entitled to a conflict-free lawyer?
Desperate for Recruits, Police Consider Non-Citizens
Tattoos, beards and past drug use are okay. What next?