The Marshall Project Launches Print Publication for People Living Behind Bars

By Shani Saxon Apr 04, 2019

The Marshall Project (TMP), a nonprofit news organization focused on criminal justice, recently released the pilot edition of its new publication, News Inside. The outlet speaks directly to incarcerated lives, and in the past month it has been distributed in 30 facilities across 19 states, according to its website.

The idea for the project was sparked in 2018 when writer Lawrence Bartley—who now works as a communications associate for TMP—found himself trying to win parole after 27 years in the system. He submitted an essay to TMP’s series "Life Inside" while he was, "in the midst of five parole hearings, a verbal and emotional ordeal with years of my life on the line," Bartley explains. He was paroled two weeks after his essay was published. At that point, Bartley pitched TMP his idea for News Inside. He felt strongly about aggregating a "collection of TMP’s award-winning journalism that relates directly to incarcerated lives," he says.

The goal of the project, according to Bartley, is to "share our rich articles with my information-poor former community, particularly those who believe study is a chance for redemption, who sacrifice sleep and risk a misbehavior report to pore over textbooks under shaded lamps after lights-out, who struggle to find resources to expand their minds."

The free publication will focus on spreading credible criminal justice information to those living on the inside. It also aims to inspire and empower people dealing with incarceration to learn as much as they can about their options. TMP is currently fundraising to expand the program to all 50 states.