Criminal Justice

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Long Reads

Waiting for a Second Look

People given lengthy sentences at a young age are seeking relief through D.C.’s landmark sentencing reforms, but they face hurdles due to the pandemic and a dysfunctional federal prison system.
Will Lennon,

A Future for Susanville

Plans to shutter a California prison offer halting glimpses of a different world: an economy that doesn’t revolve around incarceration, a country where losing your job isn’t tantamount to ruin, and an opening for abolition.
Piper French,

Vacancies and Zombie Commissioners Leave Opening for Parole Reform in New York

Upcoming appointments by Governor Kathy Hochul could push New York’s parole board away from a culture of perpetual punishment
Nick Pinto,

The Big Lie Messengers Who Carry a Badge and Gun

Arizona’s Mark Lamb and a network of far-right sheriffs around the country are partnering with leading purveyors of election fraud conspiracies, part of an escalating campaign to police the vote.
Jessica Pishko,

Who Elects their Prosecutors and Sheriffs in 2023?

Our Bolts resource has the answers. Despite being an odd year, 2023 will shape criminal legal institutions around the nation with more than 500 elections for prosecutor and sheriff.

Fines and Fees

May 16, 2022

North Carolina Drivers Still Face “Debt Traps” Despite Some Local Reforms

A DA cleared the soaring fines and fees that prevented thousands from legally driving, but advocates say the problem needs broader statewide relief.
Roshan Abraham,
April 1, 2022

Louisiana Court Officials Resist Reforms to End the Predatory Fines and Fees that Fund Their Offices

Conflicts of interest and gaps in basic information stall the years-long effort to shift one of the poorest states in the country away from a system of court funding that feeds on its poorest residents.
Kalena Thomhave,