Marshall Project Originals
People in the Scandal-Plagued Federal Prison System Reveal What They Need in a New Director
“This is kind of like AA: To move forward, first you have to admit there’s a problem.”
Omicron Has Arrived. Many Prisons and Jails Are Not Ready.
Experts fear “another potential tinderbox scenario” akin to the early days of the pandemic.
As Corrections Officers Quit in Droves, Prisons Get Even More Dangerous
Fewer guards lead to more lockdowns, rising tensions and scant access to healthcare.
My Uncle Died the Day He Was Released From Jail. I’m Still Trying to Understand Why.
“Sudden cardiac death,” is the cause listed on my uncle Bryan’s death certificate. But it didn’t feel sudden at all — not when you factor in his underlying mental and physical health problems, years of poor prison medical care and the fact that he caught COVID-19 in his Arizona jail.
‘They Should Have Been Watching’: Suicides Rise in Texas Prisons During Pandemic
Prison suicides have been rising for years. Experts fear the pandemic has made it worse.
Prisons Have a Health Care Issue — And It Starts at the Top, Critics Say
When coronavirus hit federal prisons, the top officials had no health care experience.
Lost Opportunity, Lost Lives
During the pandemic, prison officials could have prevented sickness and death by releasing those who were most vulnerable to coronavirus and least likely to reoffend — older incarcerated people.
31,000 Prisoners Sought Compassionate Release During COVID-19. The Bureau of Prisons Approved 36.
As the pandemic worsened inside federal prisons, officials granted fewer releases.
Jail Populations Creep Back Up After COVID-19
Judges, prosecutors and sheriffs in many states sent people home instead of to jail last year, but new data suggests the change is not lasting.
COVID-19 and Vaccine Mistrust Behind Bars
The second episode of The Marshall Project’s new video series, designed for audiences inside and outside of prison, reflects on how the COVID-19 vaccine has been received in lockups.
How We Survived COVID-19 In Prison
At the start of the pandemic, we asked four incarcerated people to chronicle daily life with the coronavirus. Here, they reveal what they witnessed and how they coped with the chaos, fear, isolation and deaths.
As States Expand Vaccine Eligibility, Many People in Prison Still Wait for Shots
Despite CDC advice to vaccinate prisoners quickly, two-thirds of states lag behind the general population.
You Blocked My Freedom and My Liberty, But Don’t Block My News
Getting News Inside into prisons and jails isn’t easy during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we remain committed to putting lifesaving information in your hands.
What People in Prison Need to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine
Over 100 incarcerated people around the country told us their questions about the vaccine. Here’s information about whether it’s safe, when it could be available and more.
When The Prison Banned Board Games, We Played Chess In Our Minds
“At the heart of our mental chess game lies a profound lesson: The difference between being content or distraught is a matter of perspective.”
When a Shower Counts as a Privilege, You Have to Get Creative
Doing time during a pandemic can mean fighting for your turn to wash your body or call your family. Inside one man’s battle with an inaudible loudspeaker, weary guards and a dysfunctional process.
Prisons Are Releasing People Without COVID-19 Tests Or Quarantines
People getting out of prison are bringing the virus outside because lockups aren’t taking basic precautions. Overtaxed halfway houses and other reentry programs are left to pick up the slack.
Zoom Funerals, Outdoor Classes: Jails and Prisons Evolve Amid the Pandemic
But will high-tech programs replace “the human touch” when the virus ebbs?
Congress Ends Penalty That Kept A Million Americans From Getting COVID Relief Funds
Citizens who filed taxes with an undocumented immigrant can now receive stimulus payments.
The National Guard Is Using Force on Prisoners After Little Training
Ohio guard members patrolling inside prisons trained for a fraction of the 5 weeks required of correction officers.
Why Millions of Americans Still Can't Get Coronavirus Relief Funds
Filing taxes with an undocumented immigrant means the whole family loses out on payment.
Prisoners Are Setting Fires To Protest Pandemic Conditions
But many Texas prisons don’t have working fire alarms.
Coronavirus Has Sparked Another Epidemic in My Prison: Anti-Asian Racism
The racial slurs, dumb comments and news reports of hate violence have me on edge.
Should Prisoners Get Covid-19 Vaccines Early?
Public health experts urge making them a priority—but some push back.
Why My First Thanksgiving in Prison Was The Best One I’d Had In Forever
Between being sober, getting a visit and having a surprise feast with the mean girls in my unit, I still cherish that day.
Should Prisoners Have to Pay For Medical Care During a Pandemic?
Some states stop charging copays to encourage COVID-19 care.
Prisoners Won The Right To Stimulus Checks. Some Prisons Are Standing In The Way.
A federal judge ruled prisoners can get the $1,200 checks many Americans received in the spring. Some prison systems are putting up roadblocks, lawyers and prisoners say.
Thousands of Sick Federal Prisoners Sought Compassionate Release. 98 Percent Were Denied.
Wardens blocked bids for freedom as COVID-19 spread behind bars, data shows.
I Hate My Prison Dorm So Much, I Enjoyed COVID-19 Quarantine in the Box
After two decades in a single-person cell, I moved to an open dorm with 30 other men. Between the smells, stress and lack of privacy, I was happy to spend time in solitary confinement.
COVID-19’s Toll on People of Color Is Worse Than We Knew
New data shows deaths from all causes—COVID and otherwise—have gone up 9 percent among White Americans, but more than 30 percent in communities of color.
During the Pandemic, a Prison Funeral for Our Angel
Despite coronavirus-related lockdown and a skittish staff, prisoners at California Women’s Facility pulled off a full-fledged memorial service for a beloved long-termer.
‘Con Air’ Is Spreading COVID-19 All Over the Federal Prison System
U.S. Marshals are transporting prisoners without testing them for coronavirus
“Nowhere Else to Go”
A Marshall Project / FRONTLINE film that follows an undocumented family’s struggle to survive homelessness, immigrant detention and a rapidly spreading virus.
How Long Can You Hide a Dead Body in a Prison Cell?
Mental-health problems, short staffing plague a Texas lockup in COVID lockdown.
A Year After Prison, He Has a Job, a Fiancée—And a Week Left of Freedom
Richard Midkiff spent 23 years behind bars. A dispute over his decades-old plea deal could send him back for 15 more.
Freed From Prison, Dead from COVID-19, Not Even Counted
Officials’ missteps at Butner made it the deadliest federal lockup.
How ICE Exported the Coronavirus
An investigation reveals how Immigration and Customs Enforcement became a domestic and global spreader of COVID-19.
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.
These Political Candidates Are Embracing Their Criminal Records
A group of 2020 hopefuls say their first-hand experience with the justice system makes them best suited to fix it.
Shining a Light on Life Behind Bars
“The Writing on the Wall” art installation lets incarcerated people speak for themselves.
In Prison, Even Social Distancing Rules Get Weaponized
“After close to 22 years inside, I thought I had seen everything when it comes to the Department of Corrections using impossible-to-follow rules to punish prisoners. I was wrong.”
I Survived Prison During The AIDS Epidemic. Here’s What It Taught Me About Coronavirus
COVID-19 isn’t an automatic death sentence, but the fear, vilification and isolation are the same.
The Cruel Irony of Social Distancing When You’re Stuck in Solitary
Our running joke: ‘You may go crazy in here, but at least you won’t get corona.’
COVID-19: A Survival Guide for Incarcerated People
Tips on how to protect yourself from the virus within the limits of prison or jail.
During the COVID-19 Crisis, Don’t Shoot the Messenger
When you lead the Inmate Liaison Committee in a pandemic, you have to deliver bad news with finesse.
“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.
I Was a Prison Hospice Aide. Then Came Coronavirus.
“I know firsthand how the looming threat of COVID-19 is being absorbed by all of us behind the walls.”
I Was at Rikers While Coronavirus Spread. Getting Out Was Just as Surreal.
“My family is my family. I am used to our little quirks. But I am still getting used to what's going on outside.”
As a Mom Working In a Prison, I Worry About Bringing Coronavirus Home
“I tell my husband to keep my son in another room, while I put my uniform in a trash bag and take a long shower.”
No, Your Coronavirus Quarantine Is Not Just Like Being in Prison
“I'd give anything to trade places with you right now.”