Issue 14: Criminal Justice Reform 101

Resources and tools from The Marshall Project


Policing, Black Lives Matter, crime rates, and the rise of mass incarceration are just some of the issues that have come up during this year’s Presidential race.


Here at The Marshall Project we cover every aspect of the U.S. criminal justice system. We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit newsroom and our goal is to educate and enlarge the audience of people who care about criminal justice reform.

Earlier this year we ran a Kickstarter campaign to support our acclaimed Life Inside series, which features first-person narratives by those with first-hand experience of the criminal justice system. Many of our authors are among the 2.2 million men and women incarcerated. In this column you can read what it’s like to experience the presidential election from inside Attica prison, and in this essay former inmate Lawrence Patterson reflects on voting for the first time at the age of 63. 

For those of you who are new to the subject of criminal justice reform and want to learn more, we've put together a specially curated Criminal Justice 101 Reading List.

cutTING the prison population by 50%

Some reformers want to cut incarceration by 50 percent. It can't be done just by freeing non-violent drug offenders. Try for yourself.

And while you’re cutting the prison population, why not listen to our specially curated playlist.


Finally, if you want to read more on under-reported criminal justice issues on the ballot locally, take a look at these stories. We wrote a primer on some important state initiatives, such as bail reform and sentence reduction; we explored the close gubernatorial race in Missouri, the country’s leading death penalty state; and we looked at district attorney races where police killings and the treatment of juveniles are being hotly debated.

— The Marshall Project