“I grew up with redemption and forgiveness.” Carol Shapiro first visited a jail when she was 16. She has spent the five decades since working as an official, expert and advocate in and around corre...
Closing Argument
The Week in Justice
June 18, 2022
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Michelle Kondrich for The Marshall Project


“I grew up with redemption and forgiveness.” Carol Shapiro first visited a jail when she was 16. She has spent the five decades since working as an official, expert and advocate in and around corrections systems. She joined the New York Board of Parole five years ago, but quickly realized she could not do much to change its systemic problems. “I started to call what we were doing ‘conveyor belt justice,’ because you’d be busy preparing to lead the next interview instead of watching and listening closely to the one taking place. Then you might be writing an opinion during the next interview,” Shapiro told TMP’s Beth Schwartzapfel for the latest in our “Life Inside” series.

No place for a child. One of every three migrants held in overcrowded, freezing Border Patrol detention cells between February 2017 to June 2021 was a minor — far more than previously known, according to a new data analysis by The Marshall Project. About one-third of these children were detained for longer than 72 hours, a violation of legal limits. But border authorities have repeatedly failed to improve conditions for the children or change punitive practices that traumatize them. In collaboration with Politico Magazine, TMP’s Anna Flagg and Julia Preston have our story, with photographs by Kristen Luce.

It’s 2022. And national crime data is getting less reliable. Nearly 40% of police agencies in the U.S. did not successfully submit any data in 2021 to the FBI’s revised crime statistics collection program. It’s a large jump from past years. Police departments in New York City and Los Angeles did not submit data. Most law enforcement agencies in five of the six largest states didn’t, either. “The data gap will make it harder to analyze crime trends and fact-check claims politicians make about crime,” writes TMP’s Weihua Li in a new data dive about a historic crime reporting problem that experts say is likely to persist for years.


Criminal justice stories from around the web as selected by our staff.

Federal hate crimes charges for the Buffalo gunman. Federal prosecutors charged 18-year-old Payton Gendron with 26 counts of hate crimes and weapons violations on Wednesday, making the avowed white supremacist eligible for the federal death penalty. The complaint offered chilling new details of the massacre. Buffalo News At one point during the shooting spree, authorities say, Gendron apologized to a White victim but did not kill him. Poughkeepsie Journal U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland visited Buffalo on Wednesday to meet some of the victims’ families and survivors of the attack. The New York Times

A new report on the over-incarceration of adults and youth who identify as LGBTQ+. “LGBTQ+ adults are incarcerated at three times the rate of the total adult population. LGBTQ+ youth’s representation among the incarcerated population is double their share of the general population.” The Sentencing Project

Forty feet from disaster. The angry mob that stormed the Capitol shouting “Hang Mike Pence” came within 40 feet of the vice president last Jan. 6. The New York Times Former President Donald Trump was repeatedly told — before, during, and after the Capitol riot — that his effort to overturn the 2020 election was unlawful. The Washington Post Related: Congressional investigators now say they’ll ask Ginni Thomas, the wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to answer questions about her documented role in the insurrection. Politico Finally: How to avoid the next coup, in 2024. The New Republic

“Google makes money while looking the other way.” For decades, Google executives have claimed they don’t accept gun ads. But they do accept them, through partner exchanges that allow gun companies and websites to benefit from Google’s systems while the company gets a cut of every ad. And there are millions of online ads relentlessly hawking assault rifles and other weapons. In the month or so surrounding the mass shootings in New York and Texas, 15 of the largest firearm sellers used and paid for Google systems that generated 120 million online impressions. ProPublica

Not-so-happy anniversary for the “Dreamers.” The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program began 10 years ago under the Obama administration. It was supposed to be a temporary fix, to give young undocumented immigrants some security about their daily lives. The Washington Post But no permanent legislative solution has appeared and none looks likely soon. That means a majority of undocumented teenagers are graduating from high school this year without any protection from deportation. The New York Times There are more than 100,000 young immigrants without DACA protection. Los Angeles Times

A model to emulate? Officials in Houston have been extraordinarily successful in reducing the city’s homeless population. They’ve done it by providing permanent housing for tens of thousands of people without homes. The New York Times

A new report updates us on the status of prison labor. “More than three quarters of incarcerated workers surveyed (76%) report facing punishment — such as solitary confinement, denial of sentence reductions, or loss of family visitation — if they decline or are unable to work.” Sentencing Law and Policy Related: Read the report. ACLU


“I filed a FOIA to get the ingredients of the food in the jail I was at. The district attorney came to court and argued that detainees have absolutely no right to know what they are eating. 😣 "

From our reader, @OneKingCharles, on our story “What’s in a Prison Meal?”

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