Search About Support Us
Eli Hager is a staff writer covering juvenile justice, fines and fees, prosecutors and public defenders, and other issues. His work has appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, The Guardian, and elsewhere. He also edits The Marshall Project's "Life Inside" feature and is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia University. In 2017, Eli was named a Livingston Award finalist for his investigation into private prisoner transportation.
Phone 212-803-5211
Twitter @elibhager
Public Key Download
News June 26
How one ambitious program aims to reduce crime by changing how repeat offenders think.
News June 22
The administration is no longer separating them. Now more parents and children will be held at places like this.
Life Inside June 21
"I was made to feel like a second-class victim."
Feature June 8
Can a violent adult jail teach kids to love school?
News May 1
How the administration is turning child protection into law enforcement
News April 5
A prizewinning writer is punished for acting like a free man.
News March 20
‘Sentence review units’ would revisit harsh punishments from the past.
News March 15
The state knows shockingly little about how this would work.
News January 28
A young California lawyer helps long-term inmates with their white-collar problems.
News January 7
A California county will issue refunds to parents wrongly billed for their kids’ incarceration.
Justice Lab December 15, 2017
Why are black imprisonment rates going down? Four theories.
News November 30, 2017
What it’s like to spend your teenage years tethered to Big Brother.
News November 28, 2017
A budget crunch in Louisiana leads to an unusual wait list.
News November 7, 2017
Even the Trump administration casts doubt on the $444-million plan.
Feature November 1, 2017
The unique prison re-entry plan conceived by — and for — women.
News October 11, 2017
The change comes months after a Marshall Project investigation.
Life Inside September 14, 2017
A mother with debts — and cancer — wonders if she’ll ever see her incarcerated children again.
Feature September 13, 2017
In prison for 20 years, Michelle was chosen for Harvard's elite graduate history program. Then she was unchosen.
News August 25, 2017
“These guys were absolutely jaw-dropping in their incompetence.”
News August 1, 2017
Recent rulings in a half-dozen states signal new momentum.
News July 21, 2017
A federal sting reveals lax oversight in the Defense Department’s gear giveaway program.
News June 6, 2017
Almost a year after our story, a preliminary investigation looks closely at one case.
News April 26, 2017
Rep. Ted Deutch, a Florida Democrat, keeps up pressure on the House.
News April 23, 2017
But the number is probably far higher, Marshall Project survey shows.
News April 14, 2017
Thousands of juveniles could still head right to adult court.
News March 23, 2017
Federal officials promised last year to look into the mistreatment of detainees, but little has changed.
News March 20, 2017
A judge rules against Marilyn Mosby in the Freddie Gray case.
News March 16, 2017
But the tough-on-crime establishment fights back.
News March 7, 2017
A major player in law enforcement says it will no longer use a method linked to false confessions.
News March 3, 2017
The announcement comes just hours after we highlighted the practice.
News March 2, 2017
For 40 years, many parents have had to pay for their children's incarceration, but that may be changing.
News February 12, 2017
Suggestions from the people who know juvenile detention best.
Analysis February 9, 2017
Or at least misleading, says this contrarian scholar. Here’s why it matters.
News January 25, 2017
Away from Washington, a new breed of prosecutors takes first steps.
Life Inside January 5, 2017
A grandmother struggles to explain the unexplainable.
News December 20, 2016
In the last days of the Obama administration, regulators quietly ease the child support burden on parents in prison.
News December 14, 2016
A national field trip to Incarceration Nation, under the shadow of Donald Trump
News December 7, 2016
It is the latest call for an investigation of the for-profit extradition industry.
News November 18, 2016
From police to prosecutions to prisons, the AG holds wide sway.
News October 25, 2016
An inmate’s novel is the latest test.
Life Inside October 20, 2016
“Being able to vote — that’s rare for people like me.”
Crime on the Ballot October 16, 2016
The city’s unrest emerges as a wedge issue in the governor’s race.
News September 27, 2016
But in South Carolina, making the juvenile system more humane will be much harder.
News September 22, 2016
In a year of inaction, a bill that changes the way we treat juveniles makes some headway.
Feature September 9, 2016
Meet Rhonda Covington, the one-woman office.
Feature September 8, 2016
Louisiana judges are finding some unexpected substitutes for underfunded defenders.
News August 10, 2016
A close look at the “executive actions” that the sweep of a pen could end.
News August 9, 2016
A proposed deal between Prisoner Transportation Services and its closest rival is delayed after an objection is filed.
News August 5, 2016
The moves by Prisoner Transportation Services come a month after a Marshall Project story.
News July 12, 2016
Her pledge to lawmakers comes after a Marshall Project investigation into deaths and abuses in the industry.
Life Inside July 7, 2016
Dehydrated, hungry prisoners defecating on themselves.
Feature July 6, 2016
Tens of thousands of people every year are packed into vans run by for-profit companies with almost no oversight.
Investigate Your State July 6, 2016
Help us localize our national story on this for-profit industry.
News June 7, 2016
A high-profile sexual-assault case provokes demands for pulling the judge off the bench, but such a remedy is rare.
Analysis April 26, 2016
84 federal vacancies, and a glacial confirmation rate, put extra stress on some districts
Justice Talk April 25, 2016
Today from 11 AM to 5 PM EST, we'll be talking juvenile justice with Digg. Brush up by reading some of the best reporting we could find on the topic, and then bring your questions for the experts.
Feature April 12, 2016
How loved ones bear the hidden cost of shipping inmates out of state.
News March 30, 2016
An attempt to further level out crack cocaine sentencing disparities.
News March 3, 2016
They’re harsh, dangerous and isolated — and may be around for a while.
Looking Back February 26, 2016
To commemorate the anniversary of his death, we rounded up some of the best reporting and commentaries on that night in Florida, George Zimmerman’s trial and what came next.
News February 4, 2016
Few holdouts remain, as drug-war-era bans on benefits are lifted.
News January 28, 2016
The ACLU takes the cash-poor agency to court to force the cash-poor legislature to pay.
News January 27, 2016
A field trip to California’s oldest prison.
Life Inside January 8, 2016
Finger handshakes, the toilet phone, and the “shoe bomber.”
News January 5, 2016
Perhaps because he’s been here before.
Justice Lab November 18, 2015
The race gap for adults is shrinking. Why is it widening for juveniles?
Feature November 11, 2015
Isolation rooms and paddling: What some schools in the South are doing to keep students in line.
Feature October 18, 2015
New regulations would give parents in prison the right to pause child support payments, but opponents say it undercuts welfare reform.
News October 1, 2015
Sidestepping the issue since his days as mayor of Burlington.
Feature September 23, 2015
From liquids that smell like dead animals to high-temperature heat rays, the present and future of non-lethal weapons.
Q&A August 20, 2015
For $2 a day, “It’s a hairy adventure, let me tell you.”
Feature July 29, 2015
Before there was a conservative push for reform, there was ‘Bev’ Lake.
News July 22, 2015
And it has nothing to do with the arrest itself.
News July 1, 2015
Expunged arrest records, and new jobs for police dogs.
Feature June 28, 2015
From the people who live and work there.
Analysis June 26, 2015
As his rivals ease up, one candidate hangs tough
Analysis June 25, 2015
Lessons from education reform on transforming an expensive, ineffective system.
News June 5, 2015
In Mississippi prisons last year, half the officers quit.
Feature June 1, 2015
Three states, three ways to kill a human being.
News May 15, 2015
A closer look at the three federal inmates who have been executed since the 1960s.
News May 15, 2015
Why Michigan prisoners aren't taking a video about prison rape seriously.
Justice Lab May 14, 2015
Experts say that people admit to crimes they didn’t commit. Why did only one juror in the Etan Patz murder case believe them?
Q&A May 7, 2015
A conversation with Sandie Alger, former inmate and recovering heroin addict.
News May 7, 2015
She was for reform before she was against it before she was for it.
News April 27, 2015
Did you know police have their own Bill of Rights?
News April 22, 2015
A 25-year-veteran cop says the place for reservists is behind a desk.
News April 16, 2015
Only in Arkansas. And a stealthy campaign is changing that.
News April 10, 2015
50,000 parents, mostly black fathers, can guess.
News April 6, 2015
Why police are better paid than most workers.
News March 24, 2015
It’s Florida, hands down.
News March 17, 2015
What the HBO documentary series shows us about real-world law enforcement.
News March 17, 2015
For offenders seeking a new life, a new redemption tool.
News March 13, 2015
Giving jurors a say in sentencing.
News March 5, 2015
How hard is it to count deaths by police?
News February 24, 2015
The first reviews are in, mostly amazed that New York actually made these films.
News February 24, 2015
Congress outlawed them. The Supreme Court ruled them unconstitutional. Yet they live on.
Feature February 20, 2015
Two new safety videos aim to protect New York inmates from prison rape.
Feature February 6, 2015
Is entrepreneurship the way from prison to prosperity?
News February 2, 2015
A new set of characters enters the courtroom lexicon.
News January 27, 2015
But we don’t execute them. A short history.
News January 13, 2015
The impending execution of a decorated soldier shows the limits of the PTSD defense.
News January 8, 2015
A view from the corner.
Looking Back December 29, 2014
How children became adults in the eyes of the law.
Graphics December 23, 2014
More states have passed solitary confinement reforms this year than in the past 16 years.
News December 12, 2014
A new law promises to track civilians killed by police. Don’t hold your breath.
News December 12, 2014
When the threat of a white jury is an interrogation tool.
Feature December 10, 2014
The lawyers favor acquittal.
News December 10, 2014
Not much. Which may be why Robert Holsey is dead.