The Prison Journalism Project is a member of the Institute for Non-Profit News (INN), a national network of more than 220 independent organizations that support each other and collaborate on best practices in journalism, ethics, business, accountability and transparency.

The Prison Journalism Project has embraced and adopted a very lightly edited version of the suggested policies promulgated by the INN. Our policies are listed below. For more information and to view the template policies, visit https://inn.org/for-members/ethics/

Editorial Independence Policy

We subscribe to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News:

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.

Our organization may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.

Our organization will make public all donors who give a total of $5,000 or more per year. We will accept anonymous donations for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization and in compliance with INN’s membership Standards.

Donor Transparency

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization.

Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals, organizations and foundations to help with our general operations, coverage of specific topics and special projects. The Prison Journalism Project is housed in Penn State’s Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. Penn State is exempt from tax under Section 115 of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to Penn State are generally deductible against the taxable income of individuals, corporations, and other taxpayers, subject to certain limitations, pursuant to Sections 170 (c) and 170 (b) (1)(A) (ii) of the Internal Revenue Code. We may receive funds from standard government programs offered to nonprofits or similar businesses.

Our news judgments are made independently — not based on or influenced by donors or any revenue source. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content.

We make public all revenue sources and donors who give $5,000 or more per year. As a news nonprofit, we avoid accepting charitable donations from anonymous sources, government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.

Equity and Inclusion

This news organization aims to reflect the diversity of the communities it serves in its staff and contributors, its editorial choices and priorities.

Privacy Policy

It is important to remember that visitors to our site understand what information we gather about them, how we use it, and how we work to protect it. By using our website, and/or signing up for services such as membership or our newsletter, you consent to information practices outlined in our Privacy Policy.

Information Collection: We track how our visitors use this site so that we can see what people like and don’t like. We also analyze and aggregate information about use patterns and share the aggregated data with technology and business consultants (for example, we keep track of how many users see and click on particular pages). We do not accept advertising and do not sell or otherwise share personal information with any third parties for marketing, advertising or other commercial purposes. We may also collect personal information about you via registration for newsletters, commenting, donations, membership and other areas. Where you have an opportunity to supply information about yourself you may choose not to provide requested information but in such cases you may not be able to use certain functions on this website.

We will not release your name, email address or any other personal information to anyone outside Prison Journalism Project without your consent, unless we are under a legal order to do so, or there is an emergency involving danger to a person or property. 

If you chose to provide your personally identifiable information for the purposes of a third-party contest, survey or newsletter, your consent shall be deemed to be given for the release of your personally identifiable information with regard to that third party only, in addition to Prison Journalism Project. Only authorized Prison Journalism Project employees or consultants are allowed access to personal information about you. Any employee or consultant who violates our privacy and security policies is subject to disciplinary action.

We occasionally have service contractors, third party agents, subsidiaries, affiliates, and joint ventures that perform functions on our behalf, including but not limited to credit card processing and website hosting. They have access to personal information needed to perform their functions, and are contractually obligated to maintain the confidentiality and security of the data. They are restricted from using or altering this data in any way other than to provide the requested services to the Prison Journalism Project. In addition, we may always share, disclose, and transfer all information, postings, and any and all other personal and non-personal information we have collected to a successor-entity in the case of the transfer of the assets of Prison Journalism Project, merger, change in control, or other similar transaction.

Remember that any information you share in public areas becomes public and therefore this Privacy Policy does not apply to any information you choose to make public. We encourage visitors to the Prison Journalism Project to be cautious about what they disclose and that they do not post any personal information that they expect to keep private. Personally identifiable information is information that can be used to contact you or determine your specific identity. If other information is linked to this information, it also becomes personally identifiable information.

Use and Disclosure of Anonymous Information: Anonymous Information is any information other than Personally Identifiable Information, including aggregate information derived from personally identifiable information.

Prison Journalism Project may use this information:

  • to improve the Prison Journalism Project website and service
  • to monitor traffic and general usage patterns, and for other general organizational purposes.
  • to inform publishers as to what content is appealing to readers
  • and to advise potential donors so that they may better understand the Prison Journalism Project’s user base.

Cookies: A cookie is a small amount of data, which often includes an anonymous unique identifier that is sent to your browser from a web site’s servers and stored on your computer. Each web site can send its own cookies to your browser if your browser’s preferences allow it, but (to protect your privacy) most browsers only permit a web site to access the cookies that the same web site has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other sites.

Prison Journalism Project may use cookies to identify you as a repeat visitor or customer of the website, to maintain session information for logged in users, and to track usage trends and patterns in order to better understand and improve areas of our website. You are always free to decline our cookies if your browser permits, but you may not be able to take full advantage of our site’s features.

We may use third-party plugins to provide extra functionality to our website and social media accounts. These companies may employ cookies and action tags to measure usage or, on their own platforms not under our direct control, advertising effectiveness. All computers and servers on the internet use IP addresses to recognize and communicate with each other. We collect IP addresses to administer and analyze our site and report aggregate, non-personal information (such as how many visitors we have). When you call up our site on your computer, our servers enter the IP address of that computer into a log. To maintain our users’ anonymity, we do not associate IP addresses with records containing personal information.

We do not and cannot use cookies or IP address tracking to retrieve personal information from your computer.

Security: Prison Journalism Project employs a number of security methods designed to prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure correct use of information. Your personal data will be stored within a database that is located behind a firewall for added security.

No data transmission over the Internet or any wireless network can be guaranteed to be secure. As a result, while we try to protect your personal information, we cannot ensure or guarantee the security of any information you transmit to us, and you do so at your own risk. We are not liable for the illegal acts of any third party.

We do not encrypt normal web sessions, however any transmission to the Prison Journalism Project website or service of credit card information will use SSL encryption to help protect the data. 

Links to Other Sites: Prison Journalism Project provides links and pointers to Web sites maintained by other organizations. Prison Journalism Project provides these links as a convenience to users, but it does not operate or control such sites. Prison Journalism Project also disclaims any responsibility for the information on those sites and any products or services offered there, and cannot vouch for the privacy policies of such sites. Prison Journalism Project does not make any warranties or representations that any linked sites, or this site, will function without error or interruption, that defects will be corrected, or that the sites and their servers are free of viruses and other problems that can harm your computer.

Opt Out: If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.

Children: Prison Journalism Project is not directed to children (persons under the age of 13), and we do not knowingly collect, either online or offline, personally identifiable information from children. If you believe that we have received information from a person under 13, please contact us by email at inquires (at) prisonjournalismproject (dot) org or in writing at 2093 Philadelphia Pike, #1054, Claymont, DE 19703 and we will take appropriate action.

Changes to this Privacy Policy: Prison Journalism Project may change its privacy policy from time to time. If we make any changes regarding disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information to third parties, we will post notice of the new policy on our home page.

Disclaimers and Limitations of Liability: ALTHOUGH WE TAKE REASONABLE STEPS TO PREVENT THE INTRODUCTION OF VIRUSES, WORMS, OR OTHER DESTRUCTIVE MATERIALS AND PROGRAMS TO OUR SITE, WE DO NOT GUARANTEE OR WARRANT THAT OUR SITE OR MATERIALS THAT MAY BE DOWNLOADED FROM OUR SITE ARE FREE FROM SUCH DESTRUCTIVE FEATURES. WE ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OR HARM ATTRIBUTABLE TO SUCH FEATURES. WE ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, LOSS OR INJURY BASED ON ERRORS, OMISSIONS, INTERRUPTIONS OR OTHER INACCURACIES IN OUR SITE, NOR FOR ANY CLAIM, LOSS OR INJURY THAT RESULTS FROM YOUR USE OF THIS SITE OR YOUR BREACH OF ANY PROVISION OF THIS AGREEMENT.

Questions: If you have any questions regarding our Privacy Policy or our use of your information, please email inquiries (at) prisonjournalismproject (dot) org.

Advertising Acceptability Policy: Prison Journalism Project does not accept paid advertising. However, Prison Journalism Project does maintain accounts on other websites for the purposes of distribution of our content through social media that are advertising-based. PJP has no control over these advertisements and does not endorse their content.

Prison Journalism Project does occasionally promote events, initiatives and publications of partnering organizations that have not paid for these public service announcements. The Prison Journalism Project will decline to accept messages that it knows or believes to be misleading, inaccurate, fraudulent or illegal, or that fails to comply, in PJP’s sole discretion, with its standards of decency, taste or dignity.

Prison Journalism Project, like all quality publishers of original journalism, maintains a clear separation between news and promotional content. Promoted organizations that attempt to blur this distinction in a manner that, in the PJP’s sole judgment, confuses readers will be rejected.