Marshall Project

130 posts
Coronavirus cases in prisons

Coronavirus cases are rising (again), which includes prisoners and prison staff. The Marshall Project has been tracking cases since March and provides a state-by-state rundown: New infections this week rose sharply to their highest level since the start of the pandemic, far outpacing the previous peak in early August. Iowa, Michigan and the federal prison system each saw more than 1,000 prisoners test positive this week, while Texas prisons surpassed...

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Trump’s criminal justice ad spending on Facebook

The Marshall Project contrasted ad spending on Facebook by Trump’s campaign against Joe Biden’s: Our analysis found that of the $82 million Trump’s reelection campaign has spent on Facebook ads this year, $6.6 million paid for ads about crime and policing—a top focus of his Facebook campaign. Almost all of it came since George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis in May. More than one-third of those ad buys...

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Excess deaths, by race

It’s clear that Covid-19 has affected groups differently across the United States. By geography. By education level. By income. The Marshall Project breaks down excess deaths by race: Earlier data on cases, hospitalizations and deaths revealed the especially heavy toll on Black, Hispanic and Native Americans, a disparity attributed to unequal access to health care and economic opportunities. But the increases in total deaths by race were not reported until...

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Flow of prison population

In a collaboration between The Marshall Project and The Upshot, Anna Flagg and Joseph Neff look at the flow in and out of jails and what that means during these times of social distancing: Preventing the spread of the virus in jails is challenging. Social distancing is crucial, but it’s virtually impossible in dormitories with rows of beds in a common room. The same is true of two people in...

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The different trends in American crime

Crime is up? Crime is down? It depends on who you ask and where. The Marshall Project analyzed violent crime trends over the past 40 years to show how things are moving across the country. In the process, we were struck by the wide variation from community to community. To paraphrase an aphorism about politics, all crime is local. Each city has its own trends that depend on the characteristics...

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Predictive policing

Crime and data have an old history together, but because there are new methods of collection and analysis these days, there are new decisions to make. The Marshall Project, in collaboration with the Verge, looks at the current state of predictive policing and the social issues that surround it. As predictive policing has spread, researchers and police officers have begun exploring how it might contribute to a version of policing...

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Human side of executions

There are ample records of executions in the United States, but looking at them through the data lens can feel disconnected and horribly robotic. In a more humanized view of the subject, The Next to Die by the Marshall Project provides context for those next scheduled for execution. On one side, a person is scheduled to die. On the other, the person did horrible things. It's complex and the project...

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Criminal sentencing with probabilities and uncertainty

Pennsylvania is considering the use of risk assessment — the chances that someone will commit a crime in the future — in criminal sentencing. Risk assessment is already used in every state to some regard, so why not extend the concept? FiveThirtyEight and The Marshall Project look at the WTF-ness of this question. It's worth reading the full feature, but two interactives that help understand the statistics is of special...

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