Mass Incarceration

Several incarcerated firefighters in orange jumpsuits look on as a plane passes over a burned down field.

California Uses Prison Labor to Battle Dangerous Wildfires

Some 2,000 incarcerated firefighters from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation are earning just $2 a day to contain the largest wildfire ever recorded in the state’s history.

The formerly incarcerated have unemployment rates five times the national average.

Out of Prison, Out of Jobs: Unemployment and the Formerly Incarcerated

A new report from Prison Policy Initiative says that joblessness for people with criminal records is nearly five times the rate of the general public, with Black women paying the most expensive price.

A black incarcerated person makes a phone call at a reintegration center as he faces a wall painted in monochrome blue and white with the American flag at the top

Why Reentry Is Incredibly Hard for Formerly Incarcerated Black and Latinx People

Colorlines talks to Bruce Western, author of  “Homeward: Life in the Year After Incarceration,” which follows the journeys of 100+ formerly incarcerated people as they navigate the challenges of racial, health and socioeconomic inequity.

Civil debt imprisonment

U.S. Courts Imprison Thousands For Unpaid Debts

A new report says the practice—which violates due process laws—disproportionately impacts communities of color.

Black and white photo of young Black boys in striped shirts and pants, working in a field

WATCH: Short Documentary Explores History—and Present—of the Juvenile Justice System

Youth First Initiative: “Youth justice is racial justice—and that’s why this system of oppression needs to change.”

Red garage door with "McFadden's Bail Bonds" painted on it in yellow, "For Rent" sign posted over the lettering

Philadelphia's City Council Calls on Officials to End Cash Bail System

Will the courts and the district attorney’s office take up the challenge?

Chainlink fence

New Report Delves Into the Mass Incarceration of Women

Fully 60 percent of the women being held in jails have not been convicted of a crime.

This Infographic Breaks Down How Racism Impacts Black People Daily

Living Cities’ “A Day in a Life” illustrates how structural and institutional racism join forces with individual bias to upend the lives of African Americans.

White book cover with red, pink, yellow and black rendering of a Black person in profile on off-white background

How It Feels to Be a Black Woman Teaching Boys of Color Behind Bars

In her new book, “All Day,” poet and playwright Liza Jessie Peterson chronicles her year of teaching mostly Black and Latino boys inside New York City’s vicious Rikers Island jail. Herewith, a Q&A.

People in tactical gear stand behind spray painted words on ground that read: 100:1 The Crack Legacy

New Audio Documentary Series Explores Link Between War on Drugs, Police Violence

Audible’s “100:1 The Crack Legacy” delves into the politics and polices that disproportionately impact Black people in America.

Black artist's self portrait on white pieces of paper with black ink, mounted onto white wall

New Fellowship Offers Grants for Previously Incarcerated Artists

“We firmly believe that formerly incarcerated individuals not only have a right to fully return to society, but can offer innovative solutions to one of the most pressing issues of our time.”

Black person's eyes are visible through a small window in a lavender door

WATCH: This Video Breaks Down Why Incarcerating Kids Doesn't Work

Anti-prison campaign Youth First explains that, sometimes, systems need to be dismantled—not reformed.

Brown man in red and grey flannel shirt and brown pants on black stage in front of concert crowd

Desi MC Lushlife Reminds Us That Pre-Trump America Was Far From Perfect

With his intense new mixtape, “My Idols are Dead and My Enemies are in Power,” Lushlife brings together Killer Mike, Kool A.D. and 17 others to tackle Islamophobia, mass incarceration, flawed foreign policy and other issues. Proceeds will go to the ACLU.

Six Black women and men standing against light blue background with dark blue text, with one Black man holding gold statue and one Black woman wearing a gold gown

'Moonlight,' 'Fences' and Actors of Color Make Oscar History

Viola Davis, Mahershala Ali and four others round out the most diverse Academy Awards acting nominee pool ever.

White man with navy shirt and blue jeans next to Black man in white shirt and navy tie and navy pants in front of men in brown prison uniforms, all against grey floor and white wall with blue doors

VICE Launches Apprenticeship Program for Formerly Incarcerated People

The media company developed the program in partnership with the Center for Employment Opportunities.

Greyscale footage of Black man in black suit with white shirt and black tie against black background

'I Am Not Your Negro,' '13th' and 'O.J.: Made in America' Shortlisted for Oscar Doc Nominations

Will one of these projects win an Oscar in January?

Black woman in black blazer and red shirt holds white packet against black background

Kalief Browder's Mother 'Literally Died of a Broken Heart,' Says Lawyer

Venida Browder fought for justice after her teenage son was forced to stay at Rikers Island jail for three years without a trial, and later killed himself.

Black and white drawing of white people and Ku Klux Klan members behind row of Black people

New Short Animates History of Lynching and Racial Terror in the U.S.

The video, narrated by Bryan Stevenson and animated by Molly Crabapple, is presented by the Equal Justice Initiative.

Ava DuVernay in Black dress against blue light background with white text

With '13th,' Ava DuVernay Breaks Down the Racism of Mass Incarceration in a Way That Everyone Can Understand

The “Selma” and “Queen Sugar” director’s new film on the history, policies and practices that have led to the mass incarceration and modern-day slavery of Black people premieres on Netflix today. Here, she explains the strategy behind the must-see documentary.

Grey floor with grey beds and people in orange prison uniforms

WATCH: New Trailer for Ava DuVernay's Mass Incarceration Documentary, '13th'

Named for the Thirteenth Amendment, “13th” will premiere at the New York Film Festival on Friday before making its nationwide debut on Netflix October 7.