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Sky-high email and phone costs, fear of retaliation by prison staff, and isolation create roadblocks for incarcerated people to share their experience and join a growing national conversation on reforming the criminal legal system.
Christopher Blackwell, Nick Hacheney
Nov 15, 2021
The Appeal examined 17 fatal shootings by the Vallejo police over the last decade and found at least six cases where the person shot may have been unarmed.
Mar 24, 2021
Former Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson’s fiery dissents on mass incarceration and sentencing in America’s most carceral state garnered international attention. But the rise of the first Black woman on the court was characterized by one battle after another with the Deep South’s white power structure.
Mar 02, 2021
A Vallejo police lieutenant has a long history of excessive force allegations in a department that is under investigation by the California Department of Justice—and he continues to rise in the ranks.
Jan 21, 2021
While a debate over defunding the police rages in Austin, a new lawsuit reminds its residents that assault cases in the city are routinely ignored.
Oct 02, 2020
Lawsuits from Joliet Police Department officers are among at least 12 current federal complaints against the agency. The men say their civil rights lawsuits are part of a decades-long history of discrimination.
Sep 25, 2020
From crackdowns on Black students decades ago to more recent arrests during protests against neo-Confederates, the department has served as a tool for enforcing white supremacy.
Jul 21, 2020
A sheriff’s deputy in Louisiana is caught on video choking a man after he says he asked for COVID-19 treatment.
Apr 16, 2020
Josie Duffy Rice and guest co-host Darnell Moore talk with Sherrilyn Ifill about policing, civil rights, the criminal justice system, and more.
Mar 25, 2020
The student, whose last name is Mohammed, was subject to improper searches based on little evidence, his attorney argues.
Mar 09, 2020
Erick Wallace’s federal civil rights lawsuit joins a long line of litigation and misconduct allegations against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Feb 11, 2020
In a lawsuit, the boy’s family said he was repeatedly suspended, secluded, and violently restrained before he was ever given a special education evaluation.
Feb 04, 2020
The department is targeting communities of color and violating local and federal law by using broad ‘association’ criteria to list people in a gang database, a Rhode Island community organization claims.
Julia Rock, Lucas Smolcic Larson
Jan 10, 2020
According to a complaint, police in Oak Lawn, a suburb of Chicago, subjected Tylus Allen Jr. to invasive searches, all of which turned up nothing.
Dec 19, 2019
Guards at the Mark Stiles Unit in Beaumont are alleged to have led the victim to a hallway where there were no security cameras.
, Roxanna Asgarian
Dec 17, 2019
Officers at the Cuyahoga County Jail in Ohio are accused of pepper-spraying and assaulting a man for merely asking about his release date.
Dec 12, 2019
Ahead of the city’s district attorney election on Tuesday, the alleged baton beating last month of Dacari Spiers has renewed debate over police accountability.
Nov 01, 2019
With journalist Sessi Kuwabara Blanchard
Adam H. Johnson
Oct 24, 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
Derek Harris awaits arguments in the state Supreme Court about the sentencing, which one judge called ‘unconscionable.’
Sep 24, 2019
A narrow ruling on Brady lists ensures that protecting the police will continue to prevail over due process.
Kyle C. Barry
Sep 18, 2019
Court records and interviews with former prosecutors show that internal assessments of police dishonesty are rarely memorialized, potentially violating the rights of people charged in criminal cases and sometimes keeping the records of bad cops clean.
George Joseph, Ali Winston
Sep 17, 2019
Henri Lyles is challenging his life sentence under a statute that penalizes people for prior convictions. A favorable decision by the state Supreme Court would mean that he and a dozen people sentenced to life could one day be freed.
Sep 12, 2019
Police are accused of lying to obtain the warrants to conduct military-style raids on the homes of poor people and people of color.
Sep 06, 2019
Jose ‘Lil Joe’ Chapa says one way to make Beauregard Parish ‘great again’ is to stop construction of a new jail and divert resources to services that keep people out of lockup altogether.
Sep 05, 2019
Advocates and homeless people are suing Sacramento County over its treatment of homeless—and the city responded by filing a lawsuit against seven men for being a ‘public nuisance.‘
Sep 04, 2019
The decline under DA Larry Krasner, who took office in 2018, marks a significant change in juvenile justice in Pennsylvania.
Aug 30, 2019
In a civil rights lawsuit, an officer in Allentown claims he was subjected to racial discrimination before he was fired.
Aug 29, 2019
At 16, Larry Rosser was imprisoned for killing a woman who sexually and physically abused him. He served 22 years in the California prison system before being released in 2017, after parole commissioners became convinced he was a rehabilitated victim.
Aug 28, 2019
A statewide pattern of discrimination in jury selection has gone largely uncorrected, while lives remain in the balance, advocates say.
Aug 26, 2019
Media coverage obsessively focuses on homicides, which are at historical lows. Meanwhile, suicides and overdoses skyrocket, quietly driving record declines in American life expectancy.
Aug 20, 2019
In Valencia County, a sheriff’s deputy who once faced allegations of excessive force in Albuquerque is accused of assaulting an elderly man.
Aug 16, 2019
Attorney General William Barr pushed back against reforms by progressive prosecutors—but perhaps his greatest vitriol was reserved for the Boston DA’s attempt to rein in police.
Aug 13, 2019
A new internal audit shows that officers disproportionately strike, tussle with, and draw guns on Black people but then fail to disclose the incidents in their reports.
Aug 12, 2019
A federal lawsuit claims that Palo Alto, California, police falsely detained, arrested, and beat a gay Latinx man—then boasted about their brutality.
Aug 08, 2019
Last year, lawmakers repealed the felony murder rule, which allowed prosecutors to charge defendants with murders they didn‘t commit. Prosecutors are trying to overturn the new law, but AG Xavier Becerra believes that the reform should stand.
Aug 05, 2019
Jul 31, 2019
Police in Ozark said they solved the 1999 murders of two teenage girls using a genealogy database. But Coley McCraney‘s attorneys say that the case against their client is far from certain.
Jul 24, 2019
For far too long, the press has leaned on wrong-headed tough-on-crime officials like the former NYPD commissioner when reporting on the criminal legal system.
Jul 22, 2019
The carceral system fails to heal victims and perpetuates trauma by caging human beings. It‘s time to try something else.
Jul 18, 2019
A California Superior Court ruling gives officers accused of misconduct access to investigator notes and files while cases are in progress.
Jul 17, 2019
Police and prosecutors framed a father of four in a 2007 murder case with local and national political implications.
Kyle C. Barry
Jul 02, 2019
The police union’s newly elected vice president led the investigation into the shooting that cleared Officer William Gourley of any wrongdoing.
Jun 21, 2019
Amir H. Ali, Emily Clark
Jun 20, 2019
The popularity of Axon’s tech soared after the police killing of Michael Brown in 2014, but it may be doing more harm than good in protecting people from excessive force.
Jun 10, 2019
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.
Jun 06, 2019
City officials say its vast network of cameras are simply a tool when responding to 911 calls and complaints of criminal activity. But several cases suggest the system serves an additional purpose.
Jun 03, 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
Chicago hands out millions in settlements and legal fees for police misconduct. Its newly inaugurated mayor should take a dollar from the department’s budget for every dollar the city spends settling with its victims.
May 29, 2019
Despite accounting for less than 12 percent of the state’s adult population, roughly 40 percent of all bail bonds were issued in cases involving a Black defendant.
May 22, 2019
Prisoners can shave time off their sentences by participating in shock incarceration programs. More than a dozen former shock prisoners say that comes at a steep cost.
May 21, 2019
A former Baltimore officer says the Hopkins plan should be viewed skeptically because campus police have a history of deadly force and its officials come from troubled Baltimore Police units.
May 16, 2019
Instead of building ‘humane jails’ to replace Rikers Island, let’s push the NYPD to cut down on arrests.
May 15, 2019
New York City just paid Jose LaSalle of the Copwatch Patrol Unit nearly $900,000 over claims of false arrest related to the 2016 incident, but his fight for justice is far from over.
May 09, 2019
In a case of mistaken identity, Jada Noone was arrested by Pennsylvania State Police, spent 15 days in jail and faced a felony drug case before charges were dismissed. She’s now suing over her false arrest.
May 07, 2019
The fatal shooting by Oakland police of an unconscious man as he woke is putting pressure on the California department to rethink its deployment of force.
May 02, 2019
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.
May 01, 2019
Antonio May, a 32 year-old father of three, died in the Fulton County Jail in September after deputies pepper-sprayed and shot him with a Taser.
Apr 25, 2019
After a drug bust involving Houston narcotics officer Gerald Goines turned deadly, questions are being raised about how he operated during his time on the force.
Apr 23, 2019
Police union lawsuits delayed many local governments from complying with a new transparency law. In the meantime, some cities have destroyed files.
Apr 17, 2019
At Virginia’s Hampton Roads Regional Jail, reform has been slow even after high-profile tragedies including the death of mentally disabled man incarcerated who allegedly stole $5 worth of snacks.
Apr 16, 2019
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.
William C. Anderson
Apr 09, 2019
Attorneys for a man exonerated in a Baltimore murder say detectives suppressed exculpatory evidence and that the police’s homicide unit has a pattern and practice of similar conduct in decades of cases.
Apr 02, 2019
Attorneys and advocates call for change in Madison County after the deaths of three Black people at its jail and because of what they allege is a system of roadblocks targeting Black residents.
Mar 27, 2019
A scandal of falsified drug arrests is spreading at a Florida sheriff’s office that has also spent more than $1.33 million settling excessive force lawsuits and is at the center of the increasingly troubled Robert Kraft case.
Mar 26, 2019
Their claims are part of a federal lawsuit; other women say they, too, were assaulted and the officer now faces a raft of criminal charges.
Mar 19, 2019
In 2009, Anaheim police shot and killed Theresa Smith’s son. A new California law promises police transparency, but her quest for answers faces a substantial cost.
Mar 13, 2019
The Bureau of Prisons’ South Central regional director utilized incarcerated people from a Texas prison to work on a landscaping project at his church.
Mar 12, 2019
A judge excluded a confession that exonerated defendants in one trial related to a Delaware prison uprising, but a pair of defendants were nonetheless acquitted, promising further problems for prosecutors.
Mar 05, 2019
In April 2018, Herman Bell was paroled after spending 45 years in prison in a case involving the shooting deaths of two police officers. Now, New York police unions and the widow of one of the slain officers are challenging the decision in court.
Feb 26, 2019
Claims including sexual assault of a woman with mental illness to lying in reports haunt the Miami Gardens police; payouts in federal lawsuits have cost the city's taxpayers at least $3.5 million.
Feb 21, 2019
Senate Bill 1421 requires law enforcement agencies to make public investigative records of officer-involved shootings and uses of force resulting in great bodily harm. But law enforcement unions argue that the law threatens the privacy of their members.
Feb 20, 2019
William J. Richards was cleared in the death of his wife. But he says he was the victim of medical neglect while he was behind bars, which led to a cancer diagnosis becoming terminal. Now he's suing.
Feb 19, 2019
Colorado-based attorney and bail activist Elisabeth Epps was just released after serving a short jail stint related to a 2015 encounter with Aurora Police. The experience gave her a new understanding of the experiences of the people she has bailed out.
Feb 12, 2019
A former Baltimore Police officer says it’s time for the department to stop wasteful, harmful marijuana arrests, especially after Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s announcement that her office would not prosecute cases of possession.
Feb 11, 2019
In 1996, Michele Benjamin was sentenced to life without parole for killing a man who she said solicited her for sex and menaced her with a weapon in New Orleans. A Supreme Court decision led her to be re-sentenced to life with a chance at parole in 2016. Today, a parole hearing brings the possibility of freedom.
Josie Duffy Rice
In October 2018, Marshall Miles was taken into custody by Sacramento County sheriff‘s deputies outside a convenience store. About 14 hours later, he was dead.
Jan 31, 2019
Los Angeles County’s jail system incarcerates tens of thousands of people at a multi-billion dollar cost. The communities most impacted by mass incarceration have had enough.
Patrisse Cullors, Lex Steppling
Jan 23, 2019
Mayor Muriel Bowser vetoed decriminalization legislation that advocates say would curb the discriminatory policing tactics associated with fare evasion enforcement. Today, the D.C. City Council will decide if it will override her veto.
Jan 22, 2019
Prosecutors denounce bail reform efforts when people miss court dates, but ‘failure to appear’ rates obscure the fact that many who miss court aren’t on the run.
Puck Lo, Ethan Corey
Jan 09, 2019
Prisoners in the state’s Regional Medical Units allege that they are being denied access to essential programs and services like law libraries.
Jan 08, 2019
Trump didn’t start it, but we can end it.
Jan 03, 2019
The Boyd County Detention Center has been consumed in chaos, even as the DOJ investigates it. Now, the community is pinning hopes for reform on a new jailer.
Zachary A. Siegel
Jan 02, 2019
Advocates say the city has dragged its feet on legislation meant to ensure transparency on the police practice, and that data released so far—from 2010 to 2016, nearly 82 percent of stops involved Black people—signals that it’s time to end stop-and-frisk entirely.
Dec 03, 2018
A notoriously unreliable roadside drug test administered by Monroe County sheriff's deputies led to Dasha Fincher being charged with methamphetamine trafficking.
Nov 27, 2018
In 2016 and 2017, more than 80 percent of children charged as adults by the Allegheny County district attorney were Black.
Even though it’s unlikely that they commit sexual assault at higher rates than other ethnic or racial groups, nearly one of every 100 Black men is on a sex offender registry, a rate double that of white men.
Nov 15, 2018
The city’s experiment with civil asset forfeiture was supposed to end, but the practices of its parking agency and some in state law enforcement suggest that police may be turning to other forms of property confiscation.
Nov 14, 2018
Advocates say that Sheriff Donnie Harrison is unfit for a fifth term because of such abusive practices as well as his office's cooperation with ICE.
Nov 02, 2018
Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins seeks a fourth term as critics blast him for a record that includes poor jail conditions, in-custody suicides, and the deaths of two young people at the hands of his deputies.
Oct 31, 2018
In Santa Clara County, incarcerated people, and a former undersheriff challenging six-term sheriff Laurie Smith, have turned conditions of confinement into a potent electoral issue.
Oct 29, 2018
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.
Oct 12, 2018
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.
Oct 01, 2018
Jacqueline Smalls was sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing a boyfriend whose ‘hands were his weapons.’ She now joins the ranks of criminalized survivors seeking clemency from Governor Cuomo.
Sep 05, 2018
Prosecutors can subject those convicted of sexual offenses—and sometimes, those with no conviction at all—to an indefinite period of civil punishment at the end of their criminal sentence.
Sep 04, 2018
Now in its second week, a strike staged by prisoners over poor conditions, low wages, and other issues is resulting in consequences, including harsh conduct reports and placements in solitary confinement.
Aug 31, 2018
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
Aug 15, 2018
Several candidates are vying to become Milwaukee Sheriff in the wake of Sheriff David Clarke's resignation last fall. But will they truly spurn his legacy of jail deaths and cooperation with ICE?
Aug 10, 2018
In the wake of Nia Wilson’s murder, it’s critical that calls for justice in response to anti-Black violence are not contingent upon appeals to white-approved notions of innocence and respectability.
Aug 08, 2018
His opponent in Tuesday’s primary helped establish new police accountability and court reforms in Ferguson after the police shooting of Michael Brown.
Aug 06, 2018
In one Pennsylvania county, more than three times as many people on the registry were charged in 2016 with failing to follow registry requirements than were charged with a new sexual offense
Aug 01, 2018
Faya Rose Touré, a 73-year-old former judge, says she’s determined to fight the charges against her.
Jul 30, 2018
Catina Curley suffered physical abuse at the hands of her husband for more than a decade. When she turned a revolver on him, she was charged with murder and sentenced to life. Now, thanks to a court ruling, she has a chance at freedom.
Josie Duffy Rice
Jul 27, 2018
A onetime gang liaison for the Baltimore Police Department writes that its database is racist and error-ridden.
Jul 23, 2018
In jurisdictions across the country, people incarcerated before they've ever been convicted of a crime are charged a daily fee just for sitting in jail—and several courts have ruled that the practice is legal.
Jul 20, 2018
Jul 16, 2018
In overdose-wracked Franklin County, Pennsylvania, a small-time dealer is denied bail, while the number of drug induced homicide cases has skyrocketed.
Jul 09, 2018
Lawrence Parrish faces charges including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and remains jailed on $500,000 bond even though the Austin police admitted he never shot at them.
Jul 02, 2018
A former Baltimore Police officer says that a plan to flood the streets with local and federal law enforcement is likely to yield more of the same ineffective 'broken windows'-style arrests.
Jun 29, 2018
As voters begin to realize that prosecutors in the world's most incarcerated nation may not be the best people to run the government, the era of the prosecutor politician could be on its way out.
Jun 19, 2018
Kim Kardashian's successful campaign to free a 63-year-old grandmother serving a life sentence in a drug case is a reminder that we need to go big on clemency. A 52-year-old grandfather named Euka Wadlington, also doing life in a drug case, would be a great place to start.
Jun 15, 2018
May 16, 2018
Apr 27, 2018
Mar 13, 2018
Mar 02, 2018
Mar 01, 2018
Feb 14, 2018
Melissa Gira Grant
Feb 12, 2018
Feb 09, 2018
Max Rivlin-Nadler, Ashoka Jegroo
Feb 06, 2018
Zachary A. Siegel
Feb 05, 2018
Feb 01, 2018
Jan 31, 2018
A little-known New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision policy has limited access to books in at least nine prisons for years.
Jan 11, 2018
Dec 20, 2017
Dec 19, 2017
Public defenders in Charlotte say restrictions on communication hinder their ability to help jailed clients.
Dec 14, 2017
Alameda County Superior Court reversed license suspensions for 54,000 people who were punished for their inability to pay fines.
Dec 04, 2017
Oct 10, 2017
Aug 10, 2017