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Decarcerate Rikers Now

Nothing short of immediately getting people out of New York City’s jail complex, and keeping others from going in, will prevent the death and horror now ravaging it.

Jessica González-Rojas

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A closer look

Cracking the Black Box

One way to keep prosecutors accountable and check their carceral impulses is by shedding some light on their vast discretion to charge crimes.

Shima Baradaran Baughman, Christopher T. Robertson & Megan S. Wright

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As Told To

A Judge on a Mission

Here’s how a former public defender elected to judicial office in New Orleans works to chip away at mass incarceration.

Angel Harris

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A Disruptive Innovation

Dismantling the machine that is mass incarceration requires all of us to think outside the box.

Marlon Peterson

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An American Invention

In the struggle to end mass incarceration, one must understand how the criminalization of violence is largely a modern creation.

David Alan Sklansky

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Making Penal Bureaucrats

Now more than ever, legal education must come to grips with its role in shaping the minds of those who might help to dismantle — or strengthen — carceral institutions and practices.

Shaun Ossei-Owusu

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Past, Present & Future of Mass Incarceration


The Other Gun Violence

Shifting the narrative and policies on gun violence to include killings by police may spare many families from the pain of losing loved ones.

Kenithia Alston & Emanuel Powell

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Unfinished Business

Reckoning with the lives of all the men I sent to prison is a necessary, though not sufficient, step to reckon with the untold harm of mass incarceration.

Nancy Gertner

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Decarceral Pathways

Choosing Freedom

Would you rather have your wallet stolen on the street or spend two weeks in jail? How people answer this question can shed light on whether our detention policies make sense.

Jane Bambauer, Sandra Mayson, Andrea Roth & Megan T. Stevenson

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Big Data

The Feature Is the Bug

For all the criticism they get, algorithms can be unlikely allies in exposing deep, structural injustices that entrench mass incarceration.

Colin Doyle

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Beyond Reform

Unraveling Carceral Reach

The work of addressing harm without more prisons, police, and punitiveness is daunting. But it can be done. And it’s happening now.

Kay Whitlock & Nancy A. Heitzeg

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Keeping Them Home

Jessica Morton & Samara Spence

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Decarceral Pathways

The Entrenched Carceralism of Forensics

Maneka Sinha

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A Most Carceral Friend

Darcy Covert & A.J. Wang

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Immigration Imprisonment Is a Choice

César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández

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Where Reform Goes to Die

Rachel Barkow & Mark Osler

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In the States

A ‘Warm’ Closure

Tomas Keen

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A Failure of the Imagination

Charles Fried

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Prisons do not disappear social problems, they disappear human beings.

—Angela Y. Davis


welcome to inquest

a forum for advancing bold ideas to end mass incarceration

Our Mission

Is to create a space where the voices of those doing the hard thinking and work of decarceration can come together to share ideas and be heard.

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A Note From Our Founding Editors

On why Inquest exists, and what we hope it will help to achieve.

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What we are reading

The Inquest bookshelf


Inquest publishes new, thought-provoking content every day.

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