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Articles by Beth Schwartzapfel

These Meds Prevent Overdoses. Few Federal Prisoners Are Getting Them

Three years after the First Step Act required the Bureau of Prisons to treat more people
with medications for opioid addiction, only a tiny fraction are receiving them.

by Beth Schwartzapfel, The Marshall Project

In 2018, Congress passed the First Step Act, a wide-ranging prison reform legislation that, among other ...

When Going to Jail Means Giving Up the Meds that Saved Your Life

How the Americans with Disabilities Act could change the way the nation’s jails and prisons treat addiction.

by Beth Schwartzapfel, The Marshall Project

Before Geoffrey Pesce got on methadone, his addiction to heroin and oxycodone nearly destroyed him: He lost his home, his job, custody of his son – ...

Out of Prison, Uncovered

Medicaid for ex-prisoners saves money and lives, but millions are released without it.

He had to see a doctor. He had only a month’s worth of pills to control his delusions and mania. He was desperate for insurance coverage.

But the state failed to enroll him in Medicaid, although under the Affordable Care Act Indiana expanded the health insurance program, making most ex-prisoners eligible. Left to navigate an unwieldy bureaucracy on his own, he came within days of running out of the pills that ground him in reality.

“I have a serious mental disorder, which is what caused me to commit my crime in the first place,” said Ernest, who asked reporters to use only his middle name to protect his privacy. “Somebody should have been pretty concerned.”

The health law was supposed to connect Ernest and almost all other ex-prisoners for the first time to Medicaid coverage for the poor, cutting expensive visits to the emergency room, improving ...

Life Without Parole

Life Without Parole

Inside the secretive world of parole boards, where your freedom may depend on politics and whim.

by Beth Schwartzapfel, The Marshall Project*

Reynaldo Rodriguez was 19 with a young son, a good job and no criminal record when he shot and killed a man. As part of ...

Modern-Day Slavery in America’s Prison Workforce

Why can’t we embrace the idea that prisoners have labor rights?

by Beth Schwartzapfel

Laurie Hazen has bad taste in men. “They’re my downfall,” the 41-year-old jokes in her Massachusetts accent. “I have to really stay single.” An ex-boyfriend first introduced her to prescription drugs, she says, a habit she ...

This Valentine’s Lingerie Is Brought to You By the Prison Industrial Complex

This Valentine’s Lingerie Is Brought to You By the Prison Industrial Complex

by Beth Schwartzapfel

With Valentine’s Day, perhaps you made a trip to Victoria’s Secret. If you’re a conscientious shopper, chances are you want to know about the origins of the clothes you buy: whether they’re sweatshop free or ...