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Beth Schwartzapfel is a staff writer. Her reporting on the criminal justice system has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post and Mother Jones. She won the June 2014 Sidney Award, the 2016 James Aronson Award, and the 2016 John Jay College/H.F. Guggenheim Prize for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting, for which she was also runner up in 2014 and 2015. In 2019, a story she co-reported about homeless sex offenders was nominated for a National Magazine Award.
Phone 212-803-5273
Twitter @schwartzapfel
The Lowdown June 16
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.
News June 7
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.
News May 3
It’s the first time in years the highest court allowed such a suit to proceed. The ruling suggests it is reconsidering protections for officers who cause harm.
News April 30
The new ruling could worsen existing racial disparities in states that condemn teens to die in prison.
News April 8
A COVID-strained social safety net. Entrenched distrust between cops and communities of color. "2020 was a tinderbox."
News April 1
Citing the protections of the First Amendment, prosecutors often use other charges as a workaround to go after members of hate groups.
Public health experts worry that high refusal rates could undermine efforts to control the pandemic inside and outside of prisons.
Feature February 26
A court battle over an obscure Tennessee statute freed these men from prison. Years later, they were told they must return.
News January 19
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.
Coronavirus December 18, 2020
Even as the first Americans begin to receive vaccines, the spread of coronavirus behind bars shows no sign of slowing.