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‘Locked Up and Shipped Away’

The number of inmates transferred to private prisons outside their home states decreased by about 3,000 between 2013 and 2015, but for-profit prisons continue to delay prison reform, according to a report published by the advocacy group Grassroots Leadership.

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'Baby Steps' Toward Open Courtrooms?

The public wants more access to the judicial system. In the past few years, states have responded by allowing more cameras into more courtroom proceedings. But federal courts have been slower to make change. Following our story last week, “Cameras and 'Making a Murderer”, The Crime Report asked readers: “Should cameras be given unrestricted access to all phases of a courtroom trial?” Some 63 percent responded “Yes.” 24 percent responded “No.” The remainder submitted comments only, with many of those […]

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2016 Top National Crime Reporting Awards

Beth Schwartzapfel of The Marshall Project, and an investigative reporting team from the Belleville News-Democrat—Beth Hundsdorfer, George Pawlaczyk and Zia Nizami—are the winners of the John Jay College/Harry Frank Guggenheim 2016 Awards for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting. “The impressive work of these journalists illustrates why reform of our criminal justice system has risen to the top of our national agenda,” said Jeremy Travis, president of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, in the prize announcement this week. “We […]


Expert Panel Urges Overhaul Of Bloated Federal Prison System

A task force of experts commissioned by Congress called today for a makeover of the federal prison system, from the sentencing of defendants to the treatment of inmates once they get out. The Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections, completing a year-long study, contended its recommendations would  result in safely dropping the number of federal inmates by 60,000, and save $5 billion. The federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) now runs the nation’s largest prison system, with 196,352 inmates, of whom […]

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‘We Knew Something Bad Was Going to Happen to Him’

“You always look at yourself and say, 'Maybe that was me, or could have been me,’” one young man says in a video made by Youth Today posted earlier this week on Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. The story blends the accounts of six teens and young adults remembering friends who died as a result of drug and alcohol abuse—and reflecting on their own struggles with addiction. “We would go on trips, we would fill up a full tank of gas […]


Prison Authors: “My Life’s Turning Point”

This essay was originally published by The Beat Within, a justice system writing workshop. It was written at the San Francisco Juvenile Justice Center.The full name of the author has been withheld. It's cold out here and I've been practicing my left hand lay-up for about an hour now. I go up for another lay-up and miss it. It isn't any help that the rim is slightly crooked. I can hear my brother talking about a girl he used to […]