Almost four years ago, we began something totally new at The Marshall Project: a print publication bringing our award-winning journalism directly to incarcerated readers, completely free of charge. Since then, we’ve published twelve issues of News Inside, and brought news for incarcerated people into hundreds of prisons and jails across the US. Issue 12 of News Inside is now out; you can read it online or sign up a loved one in prison or jail to receive a print copy for free.
News Inside serves an urgent purpose: bringing a lifeline of information to people in prison whose access to information about the outside world is very limited. The publication offers essays and letters from other incarcerated people, but also news about the criminal justice system to those it most directly impacts. “It's easy for us out here to forget or not realize the lack of information on the inside,” says Donald Washington, The Marshall Project’s Director of Inside Story, our video series intended for an incarcerated audience. “Out here, we have so much more information now than ever before at our fingertips. We are decades behind on the inside.”
“Prisons and jails across the nation are arguably the biggest information and technological deserts in America,” adds News Inside Manager Martin Garcia. On top of being some of the only news many incarcerated people can access, News Inside is unique: it’s created specifically for an incarcerated population by a dedicated team who have personal experience with the criminal justice system.
“I know firsthand that incarcerated people hunger for the type of information we provide. Some won’t get its importance, but many will. For those who do, I’m betting it will help fuel their trajectory towards paths less taken. Ones their families can be proud of,” says Lawrence Bartley, Publisher of The Marshall Project Inside.
A core News Inside team draws from personal experience of incarceration to create a publication that speaks to the unique needs and concerns of incarcerated readers. “We know in general society, there’s been a growing mistrust of the media; on the inside, it’s far greater,” says Washington. “We're able to say, what are the questions that men and women and people on the inside might have? What are their concerns? What are the desires that they have for this information? We're able to package and deliver it in a way that no one else can.”