On the criminal justice policy front: For more than a week, violence has roiled the Mississippi prison system, leaving at least five inmates dead and prompting state corrections officials to impose a statewide lockdown. A piece from ProPublica, in conjunction with the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting, provides a broad overview of the situation, including a brief history of Parchman State Penitentiary, the epicenter of the violence. And a piece from The Appeal points to years of chronic neglect and underfunding by lawmakers and prison officials.
In muckraker/watchdog reporting: As Harvey Weinstein’s long-anticipated rape trial began in New York this week, a second case against him was opened in California. A piece from the New York Times outlines the new allegations. The Washington Post discusses some of the legal issues that may impact the outcome of Weinstein’s trial in New York; and a piece from the Los Angeles Times outlines the painstaking, two-year-long process by which Los Angeles police and prosecutors managed to build their criminal case.
In complex crime storytelling: From Texas Monthly, a truly wild story of “jealousy, spying, and murder” involving a jilted lover, a hired hitman, the recovered surveillance video that helped crack the case and the veteran homicide detective who finally broke it open. And Rolling Stone profiles Jason Flom, a music executive who has spent the past three decades fighting to exonerate the wrongfully convicted.
And in culture/true crime: A piece from Salon examines an emergent trend in true crime movies and TV: rather than looking only at the particulars of a specific case, many true crime narratives are now turning their focus to the criminal justice system itself. And piece from the Washington Post looks at “Inside Scoop,” a monthly newsletter fully written, edited, and designed by jail inmates in Washington DC.