Mission: To create and sustain a sense of urgency about criminal justice in America through accurate, fair, and impartial journalism.
About the Organization: Launched in 2014, the Marshall Project was the brainchild of investor and former journalist Neil Barsky, who became an impassioned supporter of criminal justice reform after reading two books, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindnessand Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America. The project, which takes its name from legendary Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, is led by journalism luminary Bill Keller, who left The New York Times to become the organization’s editor-in-chief, while a staff of twenty-five develops investigative projects, narratives, and profiles that explain the various issues, contexts, complexities of criminal justice in America in the twenty-first century.
Current Programs: The bulk of the organization’s work is filed as News, Analysis, Commentary, or Q&A. The Frame features photo essays by Marshall Project staff and other journalists and photographers. Justice Lab is a column by staff writer Dana Goldstein that examines the social science of criminal justice, while First & Latest provides a historical look at criminal justice through the lens of a recent event. Life Inside shares perspectives from those who work and live in the criminal justice system. And The Lowdown decodes the system’s rituals and routines. To amplify its message, MP partners with other media organizations on specific projects; the latest, called The Next to Die, is an effort with The Frontier to report on scheduled death-penalty executions across the country.
Website: The Marshall Project’s mobile-friendly website gives top billing to its latest Feature content, while a scrolling field provides the latest criminal-justice related content from other news organizations and funders in the field like the Pew Trusts. In addition, visitors to the site can sign up for the organization’s e-newsletters — Opening Statement, Mondays through Fridays, and Closing Argument on Saturdays — and/or make a donation. The site also has a Letters to the Editor page.
Funding: The Marshall Project is funded by donations from foundations and individuals.