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“Life Inside” is a weekly series of first-person essays from people who live or work in the criminal justice system. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get it in your inbox.

We're looking for 1,000 to 1,400-word nonfiction stories about a vivid, surprising, personal experience you had with the system—whether you are currently or formerly incarcerated, on probation or parole, a family member of an incarcerated person, a victim, judge, lawyer or police officer, or you otherwise interact with the system.

We don’t accept poetry, fiction, op-eds and essays that are not related to criminal justice.

Email pitches to lifeinside@themarshallproject.org or mail them to us.

Please note that we are unable to respond to all of the pitches that we receive. If we’d like to work on a piece with you, there will be an editing process.

Life Inside May 28
“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.”
Life Inside May 21
My mom was by my side the first time I went away. The second time was just too much.
Life Inside May 14
COVID-19 isn’t an automatic death sentence, but the fear, vilification and isolation are the same.
Life Inside May 7
Our running joke: ‘You may go crazy in here, but at least you won’t get corona.’
Coronavirus May 2
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.
Life Inside April 30
Bobby Bostic was sentenced to 241 years at age 16. Gardening, he writes, keeps him growing.
Life Inside April 24
When you lead the Inmate Liaison Committee in a pandemic, you have to deliver bad news with finesse.
Life Inside April 17
Public defenders rely on in-person, confidential meetings with clients. They say COVID-19 makes their jobs nearly impossible.
Life Inside April 14
Trying to stay alive in Sing Sing.
Life Inside April 10
“I know firsthand how the looming threat of COVID-19 is being absorbed by all of us behind the walls.”