We can’t allow “violent criminal” rhetoric to justify leaving some of the most vulnerable people in dangerous conditions.
James King Mar 30, 2020
People held in Bristol County are ‘extremely agitated and panicking’ due to unsanitary conditions and overcrowding amid the coronavirus outbreak.
‘Continuing to maintain these youths in this hotbed of contagion poses an unconscionable and entirely preventable risk of harm,’ one lawsuit states.
A Public Health Doctor And Head Of Corrections Agree: We Must Immediately Release People From Jails And Prisons
Decisive action by governors and the President now can save lives -- of incarcerated people, correctional and medical personnel, and nearby community members. Business as usual will not.
Prisoners are “especially vulnerable to contracting and spreading COVID-19,” Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker wrote in his executive order.
“They are treating it like any epidemic in prison—that is to isolate, treat and then release back to the population.”
State governors and the president have the authority to grant commutations and reprieves to people in prison across the country as COVID-19 spreads.
New York City Jails Have an Alarmingly High Infection Rate, According to an Analysis by the Legal Aid Society
“Based on this analysis, New York City jails have become the epicenter of COVID-19,” a Legal Aid attorney said.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Mar 26, 2020
“The doctors said they were going to come and do screenings every day, but for the past two days, they’ve just come into the dorm and stood by the front door and yelled, ‘Does anybody have any symptoms?’”
Kim Kelly Mar 25, 2020
“Still no hand sanitizer, no bleach.”
The island’s Communicable Disease Unit is already overflowing with quarantined people.
New research shows that jails contribute to infectious disease deaths in the greater community.
Up to 1,000 people will have their sentences delayed or suspended.
Kira Lerner Mar 23, 2020
When the dust settles on this pandemic, we need to be clear on what was an emergency response and what is a desirable permanent change.
Advocates have called on Governor Tom Wolf and state Department of Corrections officials to release elderly and infirm people from state prisons. But the law is limiting how quickly they can move.
The H1N1 pandemic, the HIV/AIDS crisis, and other outbreaks have taught us that blanket policies of solitary confinement and isolation have led to harmful outcomes.
The state Department of Corrections confirmed two staff cases of COVID-19. No prisoners have been confirmed to have the virus, the department said.
Kira Lerner Mar 20, 2020
Organizers have been collecting signatures as part of a ballot initiative known as State Question 805, which calls for the end of sentencing enhancements for people convicted of nonviolent crimes.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Seifullah Chapman's Eighth Amendment Rights were violated by federal prison staff who were indifferent to his medical needs.
Conditions at the Newark jail where the strike is taking place were dire even before the threat of COVID-19.
Brendan O'Connor Mar 19, 2020
A man with multiple medical conditions incarcerated on a technical violation urgently needs to be released, his attorney says.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Mar 18, 2020
At a time when it’s vital to reduce jail and prison populations to prevent outbreaks, this data can help advocates identify areas where that is or is not happening.
Oliver Hinds Mar 17, 2020
Coronavirus Leaves Defense Attorneys Torn Between Visiting Their Jailed Clients And Spreading The Illness
To prevent more people from being infected with COVID-19, defense attorneys are calling for courts to release people.
To Stop Coronavirus, Places Where People Gather are Shutting Down Across California. What About Its Jails?
Activists are calling on the governor, district attorneys, sheriffs, and judges to take action to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Mar 16, 2020
The individual had no contact with people in custody for at least the past month, according to the DOC.
Advocates worry the widespread confusion may have a chilling effect on eligible voters.
Local jails are notorious amplifiers of infectious diseases. If we don’t move quickly to reduce their population, it may undermine our ability to control the new coronavirus, nationally and locally.
Kelsey Kauffman Mar 13, 2020
I Was a Child When The State Sentenced Me To Die In Prison. But I Found A Path To Redemption In A Community Of Lifers.
I learned later than I should have what you probably already know: that it is strength not weakness to lean on somebody when you feel vulnerable and defeated and let them help you.
The state’s attorney general decided to support resentencing hearings in two high-profile cases, though she had fought appeals in the past.
Andrew Cuomo, who recently announced the state would employ prisoners to make hand sanitizer, must prepare for the particular vulnerabilities of the state’s prison population to COVID-19, advocates say.
The public defender and district attorney both directed their staffs to keep individuals who are more vulnerable to the virus out of jail.
More than 100 people signed an open letter to Eric Holcomb requesting that he begin releasing people most likely to be seriously harmed or killed by the coronavirus.
A complaint filed in 2013 on behalf of 500 currently and formerly incarcerated youth alleged that they were assaulted and harassed by incarcerated adults and corrections staff in adult prisons and jails across the state.
Lawmakers are recognizing the harms of mass incarceration. But some governors are reluctant to use their clemency power to address them.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Mar 05, 2020
Ayanna Pressley’s Husband Spent 10 Years in Prison. Now He and Pressley Are Fighting for Re-Entry Reform
The U.S. representative said her husband helped her realize that when one person is incarcerated, many more are affected.
The Appeal and Oregon Justice Resource Center announce “Left Behind,” firsthand accounts of growing-up in prison from individuals sentenced as children.
In Travis County, thousands of people continue to be prosecuted for low-level drug possession charges that reform-minded district attorneys elsewhere have committed to dropping.
Kira Lerner Mar 02, 2020
Prison-based gerrymandering takes political power away from Black and Latinx communities—power that could be used to push for more funding for schools, social services, infrastructure, and other important reforms.
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.
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.
A New York Law Could Reduce Sentences for Domestic Violence Survivors. Why Are Judges Reluctant to Apply It?
The Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act allows judges to consider shorter sentences, as well as non-prison sentences, if abuse factored significantly in the crime.
The Democratic candidate also pledged to expunge prior criminal convictions for marijuana and invest in the communities most affected by the war on drugs.
Joshua Vaughn Feb 23, 2020
Stop-And-Frisk Made Michael Bloomberg A Big Target In The Presidential Debate. His Opponents Still Missed.
Advocates say the narrowing field of Democratic candidates did not seize an opportunity to lay out clear visions on criminal justice reform to contrast the former New York City mayor’s record on policing.
Aaron Morrison Feb 20, 2020
Prisoners avoid admitting they are sick because they don’t want to be put in solitary, so nurses go cell to cell to take their temperatures.
The court found that a law that critics described as a poll tax violates the Constitution.
Kira Lerner Feb 19, 2020
A Department of Corrections official knew the extrajudicial practice was going on but little has been done to correct it.
Victoria Law Feb 18, 2020
An Appeal documentary on life without the possibility of parole—and its impact on loved ones—in the state.
Advocates say junk science was used to convict Jimenez. DA Margaret Moore has not yet decided whether she will drop charges or retry her.
Mistaken identifications have been involved in nearly 70 percent of post-conviction exonerations based on DNA evidence.
Jay Willis Feb 11, 2020
A review of charging dockets in Lebanon County shows Ashley Menser was the only person charged with felony retail theft in 2018 to receive a 7-year maximum sentence.
Joshua Vaughn Feb 10, 2020
A year after Alfonzo Riley returned from prison, he’s helping to vet innocence claims.
Kira Lerner Feb 06, 2020
Elmer Daniels served nearly 40 years in prison before he was exonerated in 2018. He's one of at least three people who could receive $50,000 for every year spent behind bars.
Jails in New Orleans and Cleveland have had significant population drops, yet conditions of confinement remain poor. Communities harmed by these jails should experiment with new accountability measures to maintain political pressure against jail administrators.
Jonathan Ben-Menachem Feb 05, 2020
A fiery debate outlined what’s at stake in the race to lead the largest prosecutor’s office in the country.
Eliyahu Kamisher Jan 30, 2020
Legislators are considering giving the DEA dangerous authority, harm reduction advocates say.
Woman ‘Brutally’ Beaten in Mississippi Prison Died Because Officials Failed To Give Her Medical Care, Lawsuit Alleges
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.
The state Supreme Court erred this month when it failed to invalidate Willie Nash’s sentence as cruel and unusual punishment, his attorneys argue.
Aaron Morrison Jan 23, 2020
State Representative Todd Stephens has introduced a bill to impose a five-year minimum prison sentence for illegally possessing a firearm, but the governor, advocates, and others say it’s the wrong approach.
New San Francisco D.A. Inherits Chance To Hold Police Accountable In Shooting Of Man With Mental Illness
Activists hope Chesa Boudin will press charges, and push for systemic changes to address the criminalization of mental illness.
Arizona’s Incarcerated Firefighters Push for Legislation That Recognizes Their Labor By Reducing Their Sentences
Unlike other states, Arizona offers minimal early release credits for the prisoners it sends to fight its wildfires.
Hannah Critchfield Jan 21, 2020
The bill would disproportionately affect the 140,000 people whose voting rights were recently restored.
It’s the first time since 2014 that someone on Georgia’s death row has been granted clemency.
Braden Goyette Jan 16, 2020
The death of 27-year-old India Cummings in 2016 garnered national media attention and a renewed push by local activists over conditions of confinement in the New York county’s jails. But the deaths haven’t stopped.
The state said Michelle Heale shook the baby to death, but some experts say her conviction was based on debunked science.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Jan 15, 2020
Stories that uncritically blame child welfare agencies for the deaths of children at the hands of their parents can contribute to increases in child removals—with devastating consequences for families.
Why Keeping People With Sex Offense Convictions Off Social Media Sites Does Little To Make Those Sites Safer
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal purports to take sexual violence seriously, but it aggressively ignores reality in favor of lazy solutions.
The move is made possible by a Texas law that legalized the production of hemp last year.
Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez of Texas told The Appeal about her vision for a complete overhaul of her state’s legal system.
Many liberals support reform in theory. But when unpopular decisions need to be made, it’s back to the 1990s “Tough on Crime” playbook.
After Deadly Week For Mississippi Prisoners, Advocates See Blood ‘On The Hands’ of Lawmakers and Prison Officials
The violence that has left at least five people dead is the result of longstanding issues that have been ignored, justice advocates and prisoners’ family members say.
Lauren Gill Jan 07, 2020
Republicans are leading an effort to get rid of blanket restrictions on where some people with sex-offense records can live. A Democratic governor is blocking them.
Steven Yoder Jan 03, 2020
Inspired By Her Own Experiences, Baltimore Woman Publishes Magazine Giving Voice To The Incarcerated
Tia Hamilton’s State v. Us focuses closely on the criminal legal system, especially as it applies to people of color, who are statistically overrepresented in the carceral system.
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.
Sensational headlines may score short-term partisan points, but long term they contribute to a toxic culture of Willie Hortonism.
Guards at the Mark Stiles Unit in Beaumont are alleged to have led the victim to a hallway where there were no security cameras.
The suit is the latest of at least three complaints filed against the Portage County Jail this year.
Dawn R. Wolfe Dec 16, 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.
Joshua Vaughn Dec 12, 2019
In a federal lawsuit, Hardel Sherrell’s mother accuses the staff at a Minnesota jail of allowing her son to die.
Staff at the troubled Orleans Justice Center are also accused of violating Edward Patterson’s constitutional rights by failing to treat his drug addiction.
Alternative approaches to rehabilitation and healing still face resistance, even though the criminal legal system’s reliance on punishment has done little to move the needle on addressing sexual violence.
Tyler Kingkade Dec 10, 2019
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.
Lauren Gill Dec 09, 2019
The Supreme Court Ruled That Sentences Like Hers Are Unconstitutional. Prosecutors Are Fighting To Keep Her Incarcerated.
Prosecutor Jessica Cooper of Oakland County, Michigan, has aggressively pursued life without the possibility of parole for children, critics say. She recommended the sentence for Barbara Hernández, who at 16 was a ‘slave’ to an abusive boyfriend who drew her into a plan that ended in murder.
Harris’s record as a prosecutor was representative of a politics of the past. The nation has moved on.
In California, a prison program run by people once sentenced to life shows how even the most serious offenders are more than the worst things they’ve done.
The poor healthcare that Bobbie Jean Johnson received during her more than 40 years in prison contributed to her death, family members say.
Roxanna Asgarian Nov 25, 2019
Alameda County Sheriff, Aramark Are Forcing Prisoners Into ‘Involuntary Servitude,’ New Lawsuit Says
Some pretrial prisoners and immigration detainees are forced to work without pay in violation of the 13th Amendment, according to attorneys.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Nov 21, 2019
What Does Death By Incarceration Look Like In Pennsylvania? These Elderly, Disabled Men Housed In A State Prison.
More than 5,400 people in the state are sentenced to life without parole. This month, The Appeal went inside one prison that helps provide end-of-life care for men.
A report from an advocacy group says that deaths in the state’s jails have soared— and that 2019 could set a record for suicides.
Zachary A. Siegel Nov 19, 2019
People held in courthouse cells were shackled for up to 15 hours a day, and some were unable to eat, change menstrual pads, or use the bathroom, advocates say.
The Appeal spoke with the lawmaker about her “entirely new blueprint for a just society.”
Biden believes that the jury is still out on the question of whether marijuana is a gateway to other illicit substances. But the truth is that it is not—and this has long been a matter of settled science.
Sense of ‘hopelessness’ rises among Alabama prisoners as new rules, leadership changes, limit opportunities for parole
After a two-month moratorium, the state parole board reconvened last week, granting parole to 10 out of 87 people.
Under the proposal, localities would be incentivized to significantly decrease prison populations.
Kira Lerner Nov 14, 2019
Two bills, awaiting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature, would help reduce the punitive impact of the child welfare system on kids and their families, including formerly incarcerated parents.
A claimed victory in Kentucky and wins in Virginia mean hundreds of thousands of people could have their right to vote restored.
Earlier this year, Danville prison removed about 200 books, many of which dealt with race issues. But the new rules don’t go far enough, says one advocate.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Nov 04, 2019
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.
Lauren Gill Oct 29, 2019
State law must change to stop judges from using jail time to force the poor into paying penalties they can’t afford, says one advocacy group.
The South Bend, Indiana, mayor says his plan—which includes cutting the incarcerated population by half—will "rebalance" a system that is "unfair and racist in many ways."
Aaron Morrison Oct 26, 2019
Prosecutors can help implement policies that are better for families and communities.
A Prisoner Review Board memo released in July requires a minimum of 12 hours of movement with ankle monitors, but some people say they’re still being given far less.
Kira Lerner Oct 18, 2019
Christopher Lay grew up under the influence of a father who was mentally ill. Drawn into a crime at age 19, he’s now seeking a second chance that could help other young adults demand the same.
Sheriff Sid Gautreaux faces two Democratic challengers in the Oct. 12 election.
Teresa Mathew Oct 09, 2019
Tondalao Hall has served 15 years for allegedly ‘failing to protect’ her kids from their father’s violence. A parole board will now decide if that’s enough.
Increasing the city’s jail capacity will lead to higher incarceration rates, advocates say.
As the presidential election approaches, reformers should focus on the Prison Litigation Reform Act, which restricts the ability of incarcerated people to protest their conditions of confinement.
Oklahoma Department of Corrections Agrees to Move ‘Qualifying’ Death Row Prisoners Out of Tomblike Unit
Some death row prisoners will be moved to another unit with access to direct sunlight, fenced-in recreation, and contact visits, department says.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Sep 28, 2019
This month, nine people received commutations from life sentences, and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is calling for changes to the commutations process to give more people second chances.
Joshua Vaughn Sep 27, 2019
In April, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that his execution, which experts have said will be bloody and gruesome, does not amount to cruel and unusual punishment. But problems with his case started long before that, his attorneys say.
Young people convicted as adults face a ‘life sentence’ of registry restrictions, attorneys say.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Sep 19, 2019
Nearly half of all arrests in the state are drug or alcohol related, compared to just 29 percent nationally.
Richard Rivera served more than 38 years in prison after killing an off-duty NYPD officer during a botched armed robbery. He was released in July after being denied parole five times.
Aaron Morrison Sep 16, 2019
In Third Debate, Democratic Presidential Candidates Condemn Mass Incarceration Without Naming Its Main Driver
Candidates offered reforms for people accused of low-level, nonviolent offenses, but more than half of U.S. prisoners have committed a violent crime.
A Pittsburgh public radio piece lacked critical reporting about the many problems with jailing children in adult facilities.
The parole board failed to comply with a new law about notifying victims, the board’s director said.
Lauren Gill Sep 12, 2019
The city comptroller, state lawmakers, and advocates call on the state to end its use of fines and fees in the legal system.
Raven Rakia Sep 11, 2019
Thousands Are Serving Life Without Parole Sentences in Pennsylvania. A Board Of Pardons Hearing Might Begin To Change That.
People seeking commutations from life sentences encounter a steep hurdle in the state’s board of pardons. The board will convene on Sept. 13 to review more than 20 cases.
California is one of only six states that allow staff in juvenile facilities to carry pepper spray. But LA’s coming ban is still facing pushback.
Charlotte West Sep 10, 2019
In a rare move, a federal court vacated Anastazia Schmid’s murder conviction, saying she’d received ineffective assistance of counsel and had been mentally unfit to stand trial. But Schmid, who’d spent 18 years in prison, remained locked up for three months more.
Victoria Law Sep 06, 2019
Advocates warn that overuse of ankle monitors and other forms of electronic monitoring produce consequences of their own.
Barred from other shelters, registrants were left with few options as the hurricane approached.
16-year-olds won’t have to reappear in adult criminal court if they’re arrested when youth court isn’t in session.
Lauren Gill Sep 03, 2019
How high or low bond is isn’t a measure of how severe the state considers a crime.
The 2020 presidential candidates recently unveiled national criminal justice agendas that reimagine public safety and punishment.
A lawsuit is challenging Mohave County’s practice of charging certain people for mandatory GPS monitoring before trial.
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.
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.
Corin Faife Aug 21, 2019
Assemblymember Jim Cooper is pushing to roll back changes that have successfully reduced incarceration.
In the wake of the Dayton shooting, Gov. Mike DeWine proposed creating more space in psychiatric hospitals by removing some people who are court-ordered to be there.
The same culture exists across the country, experts say—with devastating effects.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Aug 12, 2019
The New York Times’s coverage of the one-off case of a 77-year-old man omits key facts about how older adults are treated by our punitive legal system.
Black Lives Matter and other advocates have pushed county officials to abandon the $2.2 billion project with McCarthy Builders.
Lauren Gill Aug 08, 2019
In Cook County, Illinois, 99 percent of defendants deemed ‘high risk’ for pretrial violence don’t reoffend.
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.
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.
A new report shows that a progressive approach, like the one advanced by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, can help decrease jail populations—and crime.
Kira Lerner Aug 05, 2019
In 2016, Madison Jensen died from opiate withdrawal at the Duchesne County jail. New court filings allege that jail staff, including its nurse, ignored her rapidly deteriorating health.
Lauren Gill Aug 01, 2019
The carceral system fails to heal victims and perpetuates trauma by caging human beings. It‘s time to try something else.
Stefanie Mundhenk Harrelson Jul 18, 2019
Since the state’s public safety realignment in 2011, sheriffs have used criminal legal reform as a scapegoat for their failure to maintain safe jails—and recent reporting has given county officials a free pass to make that excuse.
Jonathan Ben-Menachem Jul 16, 2019
Four transgender women say clinicians and staff deny them gender-affirming care and see their identity as in conflict with sex offender treatment.
Sessi Kuwabara Blanchard Jul 15, 2019
Outlets ran over 200 articles covering the vandalism. The outsize attention will likely damage young lives.
Adam H. Johnson Jul 11, 2019
Advocates say Anthony Aceves’s death conforms with long-standing issues in the second-largest jail system in California.
Raven Rakia Jul 10, 2019
A company in Cleveland County exemplifies how for-profit legal services affect poor and vulnerable individuals.
Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler’s office, which partners with immigration enforcement, faces jail deaths and a discrimination claim from a Legal Aid attorney.
Lauren Gill Jun 18, 2019
Though little is known about how Layleen Polanco died, advocates say her story highlights New York City’s flawed approach to criminal justice.
Raven Rakia Jun 12, 2019
Right now, only the whitest states—Maine and Vermont—allow prisoners to vote. Washington, D.C., could change that.
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.
Many jurisdictions across the country use video instead of holding bail hearings in person, a practice that often leads to dire consequences.
Court challenges and a sweeping reform bill are offering hope to men trapped in isolation for decades.
Joshua Manson 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.
Lauren Gill May 31, 2019
Aylaliya Birru has served over four years in a California prison for assaulting her husband, who she said was physically abusive. A pardon from Governor Gavin Newsom is her last hope to stay in the U.S.
Aaron Morrison May 29, 2019
A new court order allows the family’s lawsuit to proceed, and may lead to holding jail staff accountable.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg May 28, 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.
Joshua Vaughn May 22, 2019
The DeKalb County Jail, now at the center of protests, has a long history of problems and a legacy of housing people for unpaid fines.
Raven Rakia May 21, 2019
New York Prisons Offer ‘Tough Love’ Boot Camp Programs. But Prisoners Say They’re ‘Torture’ And ‘Hell.’
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.
At least two people have killed themselves in jail after waiting for more than a week to be appointed a lawyer.
Mario Koran May 20, 2019
A civil rights lawsuit claims officers pepper sprayed him, stripped him naked, and then surrounded him and beat him to death.
Kira Lerner May 17, 2019
A number of people spent multiple days at the Atlanta City Detention Center for low-level offenses, including for driving while using a cell phone and for walking in the roadway.
Aaron Morrison May 16, 2019
A newly amended class-action lawsuit accuses the Cuyahoga County jail of neglect and mistreatment.
Raven Rakia May 14, 2019
The bail bonds industry was caught overcharging 50,000 families $6 million over 14 years, according to SPLC.
Bryce Covert May 08, 2019
A new lawsuit, filed against the Virginia Department of Corrections, says prisoners are kept in isolation for frivolous reasons and prevented from rejoining the general population.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg May 06, 2019
‘Worst policy imaginable’ punishes, rather than treats, patients who earn less than a dollar an hour, advocates say.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg May 03, 2019
Sierra Castle alleges she faced discrimination and harassment after being placed in a men’s holding cell in the Cobb County, Georgia, jail.
Raven Rakia Apr 30, 2019
A wave of hunger strikes hit Alabama prisons as DOJ released a report calling the facilities “unconstitutional.”
Raven Rakia Apr 25, 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.
Women with mental illness are left in isolation and filth, and often placed in solitary confinement, according to a suit against the Fulton County sheriff.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Apr 19, 2019
Adrianna Thurman said she was informed by jail staff after her release that she had ‘slipped through the cracks.’
Activists say the sheriff is trying to add jail beds under the guise of mental health treatment.
Raven Rakia Apr 15, 2019
The legislation is part of a wave of bills across the country meant to criminalize mistakes in the name of voter fraud.
Kira Lerner Apr 12, 2019
Cook County has a new contract for juvenile ankle monitors that critics say are an invasion of privacy.
Kira Lerner Apr 08, 2019
Richard Cannon was making gains after being released from prison. Then one arrest changed the course of his life.
Raven Rakia Apr 05, 2019
Low-income women are fueling bail industry profits—and getting harmed in the process.
Joshua Page Apr 04, 2019
Patrick Murphy didn’t even learn about the murder until later that day. A controversial law allows him to be executed anyway.
Katie Rose Quandt Mar 28, 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.
Aaron Morrison Mar 27, 2019
Lawmakers are redefining certain crimes in order to carve out broad exceptions to who can regain the right to vote.
Kira Lerner Mar 20, 2019
In the deep blue home of Beto O’Rourke, attorneys and advocates are questioning the county’s multi-million-dollar contract to detain migrants and refugees.
The Bureau of Prisons’ South Central regional director utilized incarcerated people from a Texas prison to work on a landscaping project at his church.
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.
Ella Fassler Mar 05, 2019
There are more than 2,700 people on electronic monitoring in Cook County, Illinois, alone.
Kira Lerner Feb 28, 2019
Family members are frantic after 330 prisoners are transferred to Pennsylvania.
Raven Rakia Feb 27, 2019
A lawsuit challenging cash bail in St. Louis could help close a notorious jail.
Kira Lerner Feb 19, 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.
Corcoran state prison has a history of abuse that includes forcing prisoners into ‘gladiator fights.’
Raven Rakia Feb 15, 2019
Advocates say Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern is an odd fit for the Bay Area, but mounting a challenge has proved daunting.
Kyle C. Barry Feb 14, 2019
Defense attorneys say they were unaware of the practice and are unclear on how they can expunge the data of nonconvicted clients.
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.
The company recently lost its contract with Arizona after allegations of serious—and sometimes fatal—medical neglect that have echoes across the country.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Feb 08, 2019
Lawmakers are debating whether to let people with felony convictions vote—but there could be a catch.
Kira Lerner Feb 07, 2019
The technology also allows authorities to mine call databases and cross-reference the voices of individuals prisoners have spoken with.
The state uses solitary at one of the highest rates in the nation.
Kira Lerner Jan 29, 2019
One commissioner wants the state Department of Corrections to show proof that his county isn’t just using prisoners as ‘slaves.’
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Jan 28, 2019
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.
Federal defenders say the shutdown is hurting poor people stuck in jail.
Kira Lerner Jan 24, 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.
As they wait for permission to cross into the U.S., migrants, including children and infants, sleep on concrete and under plastic tarps, exposing them to cold, wind, rain, and illness.
Debbie Nathan Jan 17, 2019
The miniseries depicting a New York prison escape fails to show what happened to the men left behind.
Katie Rose Quandt Jan 10, 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.
Prisoners in the state’s Regional Medical Units allege that they are being denied access to essential programs and services like law libraries.
Keri Blakinger Jan 08, 2019
Reports detail suicides and care for one woman that was ‘so grossly incompetent and inadequate as to shock the conscience.’
Raina Lipsitz Jan 07, 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
But more than 1,100 others are still serving sentences that voters decided were too harsh.
Kira Lerner Dec 19, 2018
Everyone agrees the jail at 850 Bryant should close, but it’s not yet clear what would happen to those locked inside.
Melissa Gira Grant Dec 14, 2018
The landmark decision could help other transgender people in jails and prisons who have been denied access to hormone treatment, a violation of their constitutional rights.
Melissa Gira Grant Dec 07, 2018
New York City has reduced its jail population, but those who remain are staying longer.
Muslim prisoners, meanwhile, say they were starved during Ramadan and deprived of religious texts.
Lawsuits that challenge mental healthcare and medical care for incarcerated people advance in Illinois.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Dec 05, 2018
Lawsuit Claims Delaware Prisoners Are Still Being Beaten, Stripped And Tortured Months After Uprising
Meanwhile, the abysmal medical care that helped spark the riot persists.
Raven Rakia Nov 30, 2018
A new Bronx Freedom Fund report documents these extended pretrial lockups, which threaten people’s jobs and destabilize families.
George Joseph Nov 26, 2018
Recent Supreme Court rulings have led to a review of life-without-parole sentences for crimes committed at age 17 and younger, but attorneys for Avis Lee say there’s no reason to stop there.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Nov 12, 2018
A lawsuit accuses Illinois of cutting off LGBTQ prisoners’ lifeline to supporters.
Raven Rakia Nov 08, 2018
From sheriffs to bail to marijuana, and more—here’s what you need to know.
Daniel Nichanian Nov 05, 2018
No Cook County judge has lost a retention election in 28 years.
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.
Victoria Law Oct 29, 2018
New development in a high-profile case comes as advocates question the state’s prison conditions and sentencing practices.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Oct 17, 2018
Trial begins in class action suit alleging medical neglect by Louisiana State Penitentiary.
Jessica Pishko Oct 12, 2018
Few of the prisons trying to stem flow of contraband Suboxone offer substantial opioid treatment programs.
Raven Rakia Oct 11, 2018
The governor is making sheriffs sign an oath promising they won't misuse funds meant to feed jail prisoners. But some sheriffs are already pushing back.
Judges are still setting bail at unaffordable levels, and more people are being held without bond.
Bryce Covert Oct 05, 2018
District attorneys’ comments belie the true purpose of bail in New York and ignore the safety risks of jail itself.
John Pfaff Oct 02, 2018
As media attention wanes, “this is the most dangerous period with any prisoner action,” one organizer said.
Bryce Covert Sep 25, 2018
The company is being paid $4 million a year to open and scan prisoners’ mail into a searchable database.
Raven Rakia Sep 24, 2018
A man sentenced to die in prison is inciting debate over ‘felony murder’ rules in Colorado.
Katie Rose Quandt Sep 18, 2018
As Thursday's election approaches, confusion reigns.
Emma Whitford Sep 12, 2018
Despite a 2015 Supreme Court ruling limiting the mandatory minimum law, few people are seeing relief.
Attorney General Jeff Landry has taken a number of extreme positions on policing and sentencing in response to reform.
Kira Lerner Sep 06, 2018
An imprisoned organizer with Jailhouse Lawyers Speak said prison officials are trying to identify those leading the strike.
Raven Rakia Sep 05, 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.
Raven Rakia Aug 31, 2018
From policing to parole, this election could be pivotal for reform.
Emma Whitford Aug 28, 2018
Instead of changing its conditions and practices, The Bureau of Prisons is simply moving a problem-plagued federal prison unit in Pennsylvania to Illinois.
Victoria Law Aug 21, 2018
Ronald Brooks was helping plan a prison strike when he was abruptly transferred to a new prison hours away.
Bryce Covert Aug 20, 2018
With journalist Kira Lerner.
Adam H. Johnson Aug 16, 2018
A new report details the abysmal conditions, lack of medical care, and staff shortages that led to the unusually high death rate in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.
Teresa Mathew Aug 15, 2018
After being released from prison, her only chance is a pardon from the governor.
Jessica Pishko Aug 14, 2018
‘They treated me like a dog’: An Immigrant Was Forced to Clean the Truck of the Border Agent Who Arrested Him
Under ‘Operation Streamline,’ Border Patrol has become responsible for the housing and transporting of immigrants.
The criminal court was funneling millions of dollars a year from poor communities.
Bryce Covert Aug 13, 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?
Raven Rakia Aug 10, 2018
Taking electronic monitoring to the next level.
Kira Lerner Aug 07, 2018
Bolus is one of thousands of New Yorkers sentenced to life in prison who are waiting for the governor to keep his clemency promise.
Max Rivlin-Nadler Aug 06, 2018
And padding city and state coffers with millions of dollars.
Maura Ewing Aug 03, 2018
News of the victory is spreading rapidly to other cities.
Bryce Covert Jul 26, 2018
New types of registries are being created around the country, despite research showing they don’t work.
Jessica Pishko Jul 20, 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.
“Jail is not a country club,” the Bristol County sheriff said. “That’s why once you’ve done time in the Bristol County House of Corrections, you won’t want to come back.”
Eoin Higgins Jul 17, 2018
Trump’s pick to replace Justice Kennedy would most likely undermine the rights of criminal defendants and stall progress on solitary confinement, prisoners’ rights, and the death penalty.
Kyle C. Barry Jul 13, 2018
New bail funds aren’t just getting immigrants out of detention—they’re helping them stay in the country permanently.
Max Rivlin-Nadler Jul 10, 2018
But after a spree of commutations, the governor recently put down his clemency pen amid tough-on-crime fear mongering.
Kira Lerner Jul 09, 2018
San Francisco just became the first city in the nation to stop charging court fines and fees, but the rest of the state has a long way to go.
Teresa Mathew Jul 02, 2018
Families are torn apart by the criminal justice system every day.
Josie Duffy Rice Jun 28, 2018
Advocates decry court's shift to using teleconferencing for hearings.
Emma Whitford Jun 27, 2018
'We have a reaction as mothers to what’s been going on.'
Exclusive: Immigrant Detainees In an Oregon Federal Prison Are Being Held In General Population Units
As a consequence, authorities are keeping them in cells for 22 to 23 hours a day, according to Oregon’s federal public defender.
A New York City man has been shuffled between Rikers Island and mental hospitals for 32 years.
Alice Marie Johnson is free. Now it’s time to free thousands more prisoners with unjustly long sentences.
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.
Shaun King Jun 15, 2018
Debate coach Katrina Burlet says she was banned from state’s prisons after prisoners in her program argued for parole.
Michael Sainato Jun 11, 2018
The judge who sentenced Brock Turner brought much-needed compassion to the bench, says public defender Sajid Khan.
People incarcerated at Angola want opportunities for education instead of hard labor in the fields.
Bryce Covert Jun 08, 2018
Death penalty mitigation offers juries a chance to see defendants in a different light.
Maura Ewing Jun 06, 2018
A new paper argues that President Johnson’s 1967 Commission on Law Enforcement’s report on the subject was “decades ahead of its time.”
Zachary A. Siegel Jun 04, 2018
Activists say a once-radical campaign has been co-opted.
Public defenders in Charlotte say restrictions on communication hinder their ability to help jailed clients.
Jessica Brand Dec 14, 2017
State law makes it easier to throw Brown away than consider traumas youth face and offer them hope of rehabilitation.
Demetria D. Frank Dec 01, 2017
The five states that have done away with commercial bond outlets still struggle with inequity when it comes to cash bail.
Rebecca McCray Nov 22, 2017