Local jails are the gateway to the U.S. justice system, but they are overloaded, overused and under-covered by resource-strapped journalists.
While local jails were intended to house people who were deemed to be a societal danger or flight risk before trial, they have become warehouses — often for people who have not been convicted of a crime and cannot afford to bail themselves out. In many cities, jails are increasingly filled with women, juveniles, immigrants and people who suffer from addictions and mental illness.
In this online webinar series, you will learn how to cover local jails that continue to be COVID-19 hot spots. You will prepare for significant legislative and local changes in policing, spurred by both politics and protests. Formerly incarcerated people will give you insight into the effects of journalism on their life after lockup. And Poynter faculty will lead robust discussions around journalism ethics when it comes to how we cover the accused and convicted. The sessions will be practical, inspiring and non-political.
Here’s what some of our previous participants had to say about their experience:
“This workshop gave insight on a side of our justice system that we cover, but rarely consider. It gave me a fresh perspective on what goes on behind bars, and how improving our jails can actually improve society.”
“Learning the data I believe was most important. With that knowledge, I can localize the national numbers and trends to my own coverage area.”
“I have written a lot of jail stories, but this workshop really demonstrated some other and better ways to hit on the bail/bond, jail population and other issues by using data and public records to identify the people it affects.”
This online webinar series is the virtual version of the effort Poynter began four years ago to help journalists cover jails and incarceration in the United States. With our funder, MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge, and our partners at the Vera Institute of Justice and The Marshall Project, Poynter has reached over 1,000 journalists in at least 45 states with practical and expert teaching on jails in the United States. We have taught in-person workshops from coast to coast and border to border including Dallas, New York, New Orleans, Detroit, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Saint Petersburg, Baltimore, Columbus.
If you need assistance, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.