Tina Tona

The Cycle


Policing, incarceration, and mental illness in America

This project is supported by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge. More

This work was commissioned, produced, and edited by The Atlantic's editorial staff. Support for this work was provided in part by the organizations listed here.

A monarch butterfly rests on a wire fence set into The Experiment’s image template.
Chris Melville / Shutterstock

Podcast: Should Intent Matter?

A widely criticized legal principle disproportionately puts youth of color and women behind bars. But is it the only way to hold police accountable when they kill?

A silhouette of a man from behind, against a grey background
Illustration by Cam Floyd; animation by Andrew Embury

The Tragedy of Mental Illness in American Prisons

At the time of his death, following a violent altercation with guards, Karl Taylor was one of thousands of mentally ill inmates who are confined to institutions that are supremely ill-equipped to handle them.