When I was in state prison, it was important for me to be aware of presidential, gubernatorial, judicial and district attorney elections. The political temperature on criminal justice issues—from the highest office to the lowest—adversely affected our chances at trial and parole. It also impacted whether incarcerated people had access to meaningful programs inside.
Today, there are roughly 2.2 million people incarcerated in the United States that are directly affected by the outcomes of our elections, but their political opinions are almost completely ignored.
We want to amplify the voices of our 100,000+ incarcerated readers and help them engage with the up-coming election. The third is-sue of News Inside presents stories about politics and criminal justice; it is my hope that our readers learn more about the candidates’ plans, think about how they may affect their lives, and take the first-ever political opinion survey of incarcerated people conducted by a national publication.
The Marshall Project entered into an ambitious partnership with Slate Magazine to survey our thousands of incarcerated readers. We asked participants to rank their political priorities, weigh in on issues such as criminal justice reform, and, of course, tell us which presidential candidate they would vote for. We plan to publish our findings ahead of Super Tuesday.
We’re the first news organization ever to make this kind of investment in incarcerated readers and actually ask their opinions on criminal justice issues such as mandatory minimums and reducing racial bias. We’ve already received an overwhelming amount of response from our News Inside readers. Now, in order to continue this important work, we’re asking for your help.
We’ve set a goal of $35,000 for our special membership drive. Become a member now to support our ongoing coverage of the upcoming election and help us amplify the voices of the incarcerated people it will affect. With thanks, Lawrence Bartley Director of News Inside The Marshall Project
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