Subscribe to our newsletters for regular updates, analysis and context straight to your email.
One Year of Worker-Led Media! Fund the Future of The Appeal.
An upcoming court ruling could decide the fate of a plan to detain “problematic youth” at a facility that previously housed prisoners awaiting execution.
Sep 22, 2022
Aug 17, 2022
Jul 27, 2022
Jul 20, 2022
As Fulton County DA Fani Willis’s profile rises, the glossy coverage has largely ignored her crusade to incarcerate teachers accused of cheating on tests.
Jul 06, 2022
Patrice Andrews once promised she’d never work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. But in 2018, she directly ordered the arrest of immigration activists during an ICE deportation.
May 13, 2022
Georgia is the strictest state in America when it comes to proving intellectual disability in capital cases. This month, the Supreme Court could save the life of a man who says he is mentally disabled—or let the state kill him.
Feb 23, 2022
After the city council passed the ground lease for massive police facility known as “Cop City,” local opposition hasn’t ceased; it’s evolved.
Dec 08, 2021
Even with the recent creation of the Juvenile Sentence Review Board, the governor's process for granting clemency remains unclear.
Katie Jane Fernelius
May 21, 2021
The ACLU’s ongoing battle to force the Florida Department of Corrections to release the formulas it uses to calculate release dates for imprisoned people.
May 20, 2021
Democratic prosecutors in Tampa and Miami campaigned for the 2018 initiative that paved the way for this new ruling.
Apr 08, 2021
Cities across the country have begun exploring traffic enforcement without police. This bill proposes doing so statewide.
Mar 05, 2021
The political paradigm emerging in Louisville is being formed by newcomers to local politics.
Feb 08, 2021
It’s the latest bill in the state legislature’s long history of meddling with voter-approved amendments.
Jan 27, 2021
At 15, Kenneth Lamont Robinson was convicted for murder under South Carolina’s accomplice liability law, despite not committing the shooting that killed Kedena Brown.
Jan 07, 2021
Control of the U.S. Senate hinges on the results of next month’s runoff.
Dec 02, 2020
A grassroots coalition is showing up at locations across the swing state to ensure Black and Latinx voters can cast their ballots safely.
Nov 02, 2020
The Florida Sheriffs Association gains a third of its multimillion-dollar budget by selling big-ticket items like trucks and mobile command centers to local sheriff’s departments and other government agencies.
Oct 09, 2020
The 17-year-old, who his lawyers say was pushed off a fence by a police officer, survived the fall but suffered serious injuries.
Sep 17, 2020
As of Thursday, 993 incarcerated women and 62 staffers at Lowell Correctional Institution have tested positive for the virus. Two women have died.
Aug 21, 2020
The law, known as SB 402, eliminates the use of signature bonds for a number of felonies, putting poor people who might not be able to afford cash bail at a disadvantage.
Aug 12, 2020
They shared their stories as part of a lawsuit seeking urgent changes to protect prisoners. One prisoner wrote that a jail officer denied his request for a mask, so he tied old underwear around his face.
Aug 07, 2020
Sixteen-year-old William Haymon has spent more than 500 days in an adult jail in rural Lexington, Mississippi. There are no state rules governing how long a person can be incarcerated without being formally charged with a crime.
Jul 30, 2020
In the 1990s, Davis was a policing superstar, hailed as the best crime solver the Crescent City had ever seen. But a dispute over a paid detail at a festival turned into a major federal case against her, brought by a prosecutor involved whose conduct in other cases was called ‘grotesque.’
Jul 01, 2020
Judge Paul Bonin improperly required people who appeared in his courtroom to purchase ankle monitors from a private company run by one of his former law partners, a lawsuit says.
Jun 30, 2020
‘As long as there’s a jail, there’s going to be police trying to put our poor folks in it,’ one activist said.
Jun 26, 2020
Citing the pandemic, state legislators asked all agencies to trim their budgets. The cuts could eliminate positions for public defenders who can show a trial or sentence was unjust, overturn convictions, or reduce a person’s time.
Jun 24, 2020
A lawyer with the state attorney general’s office omitted key evidence in a meeting with the family of Ricky Ball, who Canyon Boykin shot and killed in 2015.
Ko Bragg, Justin Brooks
Jun 17, 2020
The accounts by prisoners in Cummins Unit contradict messaging from the state Department of Corrections, which says it has taken aggressive steps to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Jun 15, 2020
In 1998, Toforest Johnson was sentenced to die for the 1995 shooting death of an off-duty sheriff’s deputy. Now, the city’s district attorney is advocating for a new trial.
Jun 12, 2020
Sterling Higgins called 911 in March 2019 seeking help during a mental health crisis. Police took him to Obion County Jail, where he died after officers pinned him to a floor.
Breonna Taylor was killed nearly three months ago during a no-knock raid. All 26 members of the Metro Council have signed on as co-sponsors to “Breonna’s Law,” which would ban them.
Jun 11, 2020
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has asked for the budget increase amid ongoing local and national reports of police violence against protesters.
Canyon Boykin was charged with manslaughter for shooting and killing Ricky Ball during a traffic stop in 2015.
Jun 01, 2020
The state’s public defender asked the state Supreme Court in April to speed up reviews of people held pretrial, but advocates say it’s unclear if district courts have complied.
May 28, 2020
Garbage collectors in the city are striking for $15 an hour, hazard pay, and PPE.
May 27, 2020
Harris, now 72 and blind, was sentenced to life in prison in 1985. Since she first started petitioning for executive clemency in 1998, the state’s parole board recommended her for release five times.
May 20, 2020
The family of Gloria Williams, who has served 50 years in prison, is now pressing Governor John Bel Edwards to commute her sentence 10 months after a parole board recommended she be freed.
May 14, 2020
Governor Tate Reeves has touted the state’s testing efforts as ‘aggressive,’ but testing rates in the state’s prisons, where the coronavirus has already claimed at least one life, remain low.
May 13, 2020
‘Our state and local officials have a responsibility to not endanger those who are under correctional control,’ the ACLU of Georgia’s executive director said.
May 08, 2020
As of April 30, one in three unsheltered people have been arrested in Miami-Dade County since a local state of emergency was declared in March.
May 07, 2020
Attorneys for prisoners say the policy goes against public health warnings and will ‘promote and facilitate a viral outbreak.’
May 05, 2020
In Hillsborough County, Florida, the jail population is bloated by cash bail, fines, and fees, perpetuating health inequities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 04, 2020
Medical ethics experts have criticized the state’s prison officials and say masks to protect against COVID-19 should be distributed ‘with no strings attached.’
Apr 23, 2020
Governor John Bel Edwards has yet to commute Gloria Williams’s sentence despite a parole board’s unanimous recommendation that she be freed. Now she is in critical condition at a Baton Rouge hospital.
‘This is getting worse,’ one woman said. ‘People just want to sleep or fight. They play with our emotions constantly. This place is scary.’
Apr 21, 2020
Criminal justice advocates have called Camp J at the Louisiana State Penitentiary ‘a dungeon.’ Now it’s housing prisoners who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Apr 17, 2020
Approximately 100 men will be transported to Draper Correctional Facility, which has long been known for its nightmarish conditions.
Apr 16, 2020
The families and partners of those incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Complex at Oakdale are sharing information and support as COVID-19 hits the prison.
Apr 14, 2020
'We are still packed in like sardines,' writes Fate Winslow, who's serving a life sentence. 'The prison doesn't supply anything for us.'
Apr 10, 2020
Louisville, Kentucky judges are ordering people with COVID-19 who have allegedly defied quarantine to wear GPS ankle monitors, raising ethical questions about the government's role in a pandemic.
Apr 09, 2020
Public defenders are working with the courts to secure release for people incarcerated in the Florida county, many of whom are jailed for low-level offenses.
Apr 08, 2020
Despite risks to incarcerated people and the public, Florida is sending prisoners to perform hard labor.
Public defenders in Fairfax County say their clients are being sent into harm’s way.
Apr 02, 2020
With COVID-19 rapidly spreading across the state, there’s heightened concern that the conditions inside Lowell Correctional Institution, coupled with the prison’s sizable elderly and pregnant population, could foster a deadly outbreak.
Apr 01, 2020
‘It was almost like they were going to do whatever they could to demean him and take away his dignity,’ Woods’s spiritual adviser said.
Mar 25, 2020
One of America’s largest police forces says it’s drastically reducing the number of people it arrests during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mar 20, 2020
Advocates worry the widespread confusion may have a chilling effect on eligible voters.
Mar 16, 2020
A federal lawsuit alleges lack of due process in a rural Tennessee county, and reform advocates say its jail is hardly an outlier.
Mar 12, 2020
A survey of roughly 1,000 people found that 1 in 5 had been turned down for a diversion program because they couldn’t afford the costs of drug tests and monitoring devices.
Feb 28, 2020
67% of people arrested under state laws that criminalize HIV exposure and transmission are sex workers. But new legislation meant to modernize these laws would retain harsh penalties against them.
Josh Norman was one of the 17 people to die in Mississippi prisons so far this year. His death raises important questions about the state’s failures.
Feb 25, 2020
Nathaniel Woods, who was convicted in connection with the deaths of three Birmingham police officers in 2004, is ‘100 percent innocent,’ the man who shot the officers told The Appeal.
Feb 24, 2020
The court found that a law that critics described as a poll tax violates the Constitution.
Feb 19, 2020
A Department of Corrections official knew the extrajudicial practice was going on but little has been done to correct it.
Feb 18, 2020
Rann Bar-On pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault of Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson to remain a legal U.S. resident. For the next two years, he isn’t allowed to protest in the county.
Feb 11, 2020
A lawsuit alleges Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office created bogus "subpoenas" to secure reluctant witnesses' cooperation—and even used them to jail crime victims.
Feb 05, 2020
Brittany Smith will most likely go to trial, where she faces up to a life sentence.
Feb 04, 2020
Three Supreme Court justices and others said competent counsel could have saved his life.
Kyle C. Barry
Jan 30, 2020
People freed from jail on their own recognizance miss more court appearances because of disproportionate conditions placed on their release, a new study suggests.
Jan 29, 2020
Jan 27, 2020
The father of Nicole Rathmann says his daughter was “not made safe by employees” while incarcerated at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. She was one of 16 prisoners to die in state custody in August 2018.
Jan 24, 2020
The state Supreme Court erred this month when it failed to invalidate Willie Nash’s sentence as cruel and unusual punishment, his attorneys argue.
Jan 23, 2020
Lee’s family wants officials in Jacksonville, Arkansas, to turn over evidence that was used to convict and sentence him to death. The family says that evidence could posthumously exonerate him.
Advocates warn that the cuts could push an already overburdened system to the breaking point.
Jan 22, 2020
The bill would disproportionately affect the 140,000 people whose voting rights were recently restored.
Jan 21, 2020
Brittany Smith, who has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a man she says brutally raped her, argued in court this week that she acted in self-defense and should be immune from prosecution.
Jan 17, 2020
It’s the first time since 2014 that someone on Georgia’s death row has been granted clemency.
Jan 16, 2020
One man, Paul Houser, is serving 60 years on a drug conviction for purchasing cold medicine and batteries. He’s one of 2,600 people incarcerated as a result of the state’s three strikes laws.
Dec 20, 2019
Dec 11, 2019
Staff at the troubled Orleans Justice Center are also accused of violating Edward Patterson’s constitutional rights by failing to treat his drug addiction.
Prison deaths in Mississippi have climbed nearly 40 percent in recent years, from 62 in fiscal year 2014 to a high of 85 in fiscal year 2018.
Dec 09, 2019
Carvana Cloud, until recently the chief of the Special Victims Bureau, is entering the race to unseat her former boss.
Dec 05, 2019
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund and MacArthur Justice Center are filing a class action lawsuit against Doug Evans on behalf of every potential Black juror in the district.
Nov 18, 2019
Nov 15, 2019
After a two-month moratorium, the state parole board reconvened last week, granting parole to 10 out of 87 people.
More than three years after heavy rains and flooding devastated the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women, officials have reached an agreement to build a new facility.
Oct 29, 2019
Neither agency had written policies on how to capture or store the location data without violating privacy rights.
Oct 23, 2019
Two years ago, the state passed ‘raise the age’ legislation that goes into effect in December. A judge’s decision regarding a teen charged in 2015 raises the possibility of relief for other young people charged since the law’s passage.
Oct 22, 2019
Sheriff Mike Chapman, who runs the Loudoun County jail, has received close to $15,000 in contributions from the provider since taking office in 2012.
Oct 17, 2019
An EEOC complaint documents allegations against Owens, former managing attorney in the Jackson office of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Oct 11, 2019
The Charlotte Observer built a narrative on gun crime that relies almost exclusively on police and prosecutors, ignores the violence of incarceration, and offers zero non-carceral solutions.
Adam H. Johnson
Sheriff Sid Gautreaux faces two Democratic challengers in the Oct. 12 election.
Oct 09, 2019
Increasing the city’s jail capacity will lead to higher incarceration rates, advocates say.
Oct 07, 2019
The Madison County Sheriff’s Department was sued in 2017 for allegedly subjecting Black motorists and pedestrians to unconstitutional stops and searches.
Oct 03, 2019
WJLA’s Kevin Lewis selectively reports on immigrants arrested for sex crimes to paint a misleading picture of violence in Montgomery County.
Adam H. Johnson
Oct 01, 2019
Young people convicted as adults face a ‘life sentence’ of registry restrictions, attorneys say.
Sep 19, 2019
The parole board failed to comply with a new law about notifying victims, the board’s director said.
Sep 12, 2019
Sep 04, 2019
Barred from other shelters, registrants were left with few options as the hurricane approached.
A statewide pattern of discrimination in jury selection has gone largely uncorrected, while lives remain in the balance, advocates say.
Aug 26, 2019
In 1998, prosecutors failed to tell the defense that a key witness in Toforest Johnson’s capital murder trial would receive thousands of dollars in reward money for her testimony, Johnson’s attorneys say. Now a Birmingham judge must decide whether their argument has merit.
Aug 22, 2019
The Bureau of Justice Statistics relies in part on states to self-report prison capacity numbers, which can result in a misleading snapshot of overcrowding in the U.S.
Aug 21, 2019
Aug 09, 2019
Richard Kinder thought he would die in an Alabama prison until the Supreme Court ruled mandatory juvenile life without parole unconstitutional. But last year, despite a judge concluding there was “uncontradicted evidence” that Kinder had worked to rehabilitate himself, the state parole board refused him release.
Aug 07, 2019
Gloria Williams was in her 20s when she was sent to prison for her part in a robbery that turned deadly. After serving nearly five decades, including one decade in solitary confinement, Williams now has a chance at freedom.
Aug 06, 2019
Dozens of reports about an indigent man in Bradenton, Florida, showed the cruel excesses of local news’s homelessness coverage.
Adam H. Johnson
Jul 31, 2019
Jul 24, 2019
Lawyers and advocates in Miami-Dade County will roll out a new plan to counter the disenfranchisement of people with felony convictions.
Kira Lerner, Daniel Nichanian
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas County, Florida, is one of the state’s most controversial lawmen.
Jul 23, 2019
The office of Paul Howard supported early release for a woman convicted of armed robbery. But a judge and advocates questioned the move since thousands of others don’t get that consideration.
Jul 09, 2019
Louis Ackal has said he isn’t seeking re-election. But advocates fear that may not be enough to bring change.
Jul 08, 2019
The legislation also makes it illegal for many ex-offenders to be alone with their own children.
Jun 28, 2019
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.
Jun 27, 2019
Jun 21, 2019
James Stewart, Caddo Parish’s DA, continues to defend controversial death sentences that originated with his predecessors.
Thanks to the diligence of one assistant state attorney, 119 cases were thrown out and the officer is under state investigation.
Katie Rose Quandt
Jun 17, 2019
A lawsuit filed by Kentrell Hurst’s children is the latest against New Orleans Sheriff Marlin Gusman over jail conditions.
Jun 12, 2019
As the Hampton Roads Regional Jail proposes spending $7 million for 113 new guards, advocates renew calls for officials to improve conditions—and an Appeal analysis suggests that the jail could save millions by incarcerating fewer people with mental illness.
Aaron Morrison, Jonathan Ben-Menachem
Jun 11, 2019
Since 2017, LaToni Daniel has been incarcerated pretrial in a capital murder case. During that time, Daniel became pregnant, and she just delivered a baby boy. But as she brings in new life, she also faces the death penalty.
May 31, 2019
A new court order allows the family’s lawsuit to proceed, and may lead to holding jail staff accountable.
May 28, 2019
DA Leon Cannizzarro used jailhouse informant Ronnie Morgan to convict a man in the killing of five teenagers, but the case was overturned. Now, Morgan is petitioning for a prison transfer, reviving the murder case.
May 24, 2019