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So Long, Cy

The end of the Cyrus Vance era at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office calls for a reckoning — and opens up opportunities for his successor.

Janos Marton

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As Told To

Surviving Everywhere

Clemency gave me a chance to tell my truth — a truth the criminal legal system made invisible.

Tewkunzi Green

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public health

Treating Unfreedom

Practicing correctional medicine is fundamentally an exercise in harm reduction. And it’s no match for freedom itself.

Rachael Bedard & Zachary Rosner

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As Told To

Second Class

For public defenders in New York, representing clients unjustly criminalized for gun possession is a matter of principle. Now, they have the Supreme Court’s attention.

Avinash Samarth, Michael Thomas & Christopher Smith

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In Depth

Mass Clemency

In the age of mass incarceration, the president of can and should lead the nation by freeing from prison as many people as possible.

Udi Ofer

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More Than a Number

Older New Yorkers are dying in state prison at an alarming rate. Once and for all, they need to come home to their families.

Wilfredo Laracuente

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Past, Present & Future of Mass Incarceration


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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Saying Their Names

How public defenders in New York City organized to speak up for those who have died on Rikers — and to keep others from going there.

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Big Data

Rigged by Design

Immigration imprisonment routinely relies on a racist notion of “risk” and should be abolished. A glimpse at how ICE’s pro-detention algorithm is manipulated to incarcerate immigrants shows why.

Aly Panjwani

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Decarceral Pathways

From Crisis to Care

For alternative responses to policing to work and reduce the footprint of the criminal legal system, they must work in concert and holistically to address both immediate and longer-term social needs.

Katherine Beckett, Forrest Stuart & Monica Bell

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In Depth

Follow the Science

Federal law enforcement has long called the shots in the field of drug scheduling. But in the case of fentanyl analogues, Congress has a chance to lead — by doing nothing.

Patricia Richman & Diane Goldstein

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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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Divide and Conquer

For those of us on the inside who believe in prison abolition by any means necessary, prison closures really mean prison closures. The state and some of my fellow prisoners don’t like that.

Felix Sitthivong

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Radicalized at the Workhouse

The criminal legal system almost took my life from me. The anger that came after now fuels my life’s work.

Inez Bordeaux

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A Disruptive Innovation

Marlon Peterson

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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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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 ideas and essays weekly.

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