Marshall Project Originals
A State-by-State Look at Coronavirus in Prisons
The Marshall Project is collecting data on COVID-19 infections in state and federal prisons. See how the virus has affected correctional facilities where you live.
Your Zoom Interrogation Is About To Start
COVID-19 is changing how police question suspects and witnesses—for the better, some argue.
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.
“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.
Shining a Light on Life Behind Bars
“The Writing on the Wall” art installation lets incarcerated people speak for themselves.
Have COVID-19? Cops May Have Your Neighborhood on a “Heat Map”
Critics call high-tech maps overreach, but police say they keep officers safe.
What COVID-19 Prison Outbreaks Could Teach Us About Herd Immunity
Prisons turn out to be a key place to study how coronavirus spreads and how immunity to it works.
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.
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.”
Is COVID-19 Falling Harder on Black Prisoners? Officials Won’t Tell Us.
Some prison systems aren’t collecting race data. Others won’t disclose it. Experts say these are big mistakes.
How To Hide a COVID-19 Hotspot? Pretend Prisoners Don’t Exist
A county trying to reopen its economy wrestles with a virus outbreak in prison.
No Photo ID, No Services: Coronavirus Poses Steep Hurdles After Prison
For many people leaving prison during the pandemic, closed DMVs mean closed doors.
The Rise of the Anti-Lockdown Sheriffs
Opposition to stay-at-home orders is the latest example of a history of powerful sheriffs, which stretches back to the end of slavery and the settling of the frontier.
For Mentally Ill Defendants, Coronavirus Means Few Safe Options
While their mental health deteriorates, some are stuck in jail as hospitals are decreasing admissions to prevent the spread of infections.
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.
Why Did It Take the Feds Weeks to Report COVID-19 Cases In Privately Run Prisons?
The Bureau of Prisons reports 110 confirmed cases among 17,000 prisoners—and that may be an undercount.
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.’
A Dangerous Limbo: Probation and Parole in the Time of COVID-19
Closed courts, faulty technology and delays in post-release programs are among a range of barriers keeping a population prime for release behind bars.
COVID-19: A Survival Guide for Incarcerated People
Tips on how to protect yourself from the virus within the limits of prison or jail.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
The 470,000 Potential Voters Most Likely To Be Disenfranchised Next Election
Voting rights for people in jail is becoming another casualty of COVID-19.
Court Is Closed Due to Coronavirus. But You Still Owe Those Fines and Fees.
As states and cities face budget shortfalls amid the COVID-19 crisis, many courts seek payments largely owed by the poor.
“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.
Infected, Incarcerated—and Coming to an ICU Near You?
Without ventilators, prisons lean on local hospitals to care for coronavirus victims.
What Happens When More Than 300,000 Prisoners Are Locked Down?
The United States is about to find out as officials struggle to contain the coronavirus.
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.
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 Do Not Want to Die Somewhere Like This.”
Medically vulnerable immigrants in ICE detention sue for release before coronavirus arrives.
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.”
How 27 Years in Prison Prepared Me for Coronavirus
“If there’s one thing people who spent a long time in prison have acquired, it’s the ability to adapt.”
I’ve Served Time in Prison. Sheltering in Place is Terrifying.
Struggling with “that caged animal feeling” during the coronavirus pandemic.
A New Tactic To Fight Coronavirus: Send The Homeless From Jails To Hotels
California and New York City are booking hotels so homeless people released from jail don’t accelerate the pandemic.
Coronavirus Restrictions Stoke Tensions in Lock-ups Across U.S.
As COVID-19 fear grows among prisoners and guards, concerns rise about possible unrest.
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.
“Everybody’s Scared”: Panic At Immigrant Detention Center After Positive Coronavirus Test
Detainees say officials give them little information and are not doing enough to reduce their risk.