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The Appeal Podcast: The Media’s Misguided Fentanyl Hype

With Appeal contributor Maia Szalavitz

Decarceration Activist Janos Marton Launches Run For Manhattan D.A.

An organizer in the effort to close New York City’s Rikers Island jails is challenging Cyrus Vance Jr., whom he calls ‘the city’s leading jailer.’

New Orleans Youth Crime: The Epidemic That Wasn’t

In rhetoric reminiscent of the ‘superpredator‘ scare of the 1990s, the New Orleans District Attorney warned of ‘a brazen population of delinquent teens.‘ But advocates and crime analysts alike say the data doesn't support his fearmongering claims about kids and crime.

Pleading Guilty to Get Out of Jail

The criminalization of poverty in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, has led to a staggering increase in incarcerated people, all at a huge cost for defendants and taxpayers alike.

‘They Sent Him to His Cell to Die’

Rashad McNulty entered a guilty plea in a series of federal gang indictments in New York that have been criticized as racist and overly punitive. But before McNulty was even sentenced, he died in jail. Now, his family is seeking justice.

‘Please Help Me, Sir’

In September, Marcus Smith experienced a mental health crisis and begged Greensboro, North Carolina police for help. Instead, they tied him with restraints. Moments later, his body went lifeless.

Incarcerated Transgender Women’s Lives Must Matter

As Kamala Harris begins her presidential run, her move to block gender affirming surgery for an incarcerated transgender woman deserves scrutiny, especially as new cases highlighting the struggle for the rights of imprisoned trans women emerge.

Cash Bail Yields A New Casualty

A Texas jail suicide involving a woman who couldn’t make bail in a shoplifting case highlights of the plight of pretrial detainees with mental illness.

‘Worse Than Guantánamo’

Dozens of former detainees at the Gwinnett County jail in Georgia claim they were subjected to brutality at the hands of its Rapid Response Team.

House of Cards

‘Cold case’ playing cards were just introduced into Delaware prisons in hopes of producing tips on unsolved homicides—but critics warn that informants cultivated behind bars can be dangerously unreliable.

Defund The Baltimore Police

A former Baltimore cop questions how a department with a nearly half-billion-dollar budget that is riven by rampant corruption and brutality, bloated overtime spending, and unaccounted for patrol officers can continue to justify its existence

Cuomo the Merciless

New York's Democratic governor has granted only a trickle of commutations, fewer than many of his Democratic and Republican predecessors.

‘Please Help Me, Sir’

In September, Marcus Smith experienced a mental health crisis and begged Greensboro, North Carolina police for help. Instead, they tied him with restraints. Moments later, his body went lifeless.

Police Policy for Sale

Lexipol, a private for-profit company, has quietly become one of the most powerful voices in law enforcement policymaking in the country.

‘A Convenient Scapegoat’

Cherie Townsend is suing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after she says they falsely imprisoned her for murder and destroyed her reputation.