This Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation was the culmination of more than five years of reporting on the Mississippi welfare agency. When reporter Anna Wolfe found in 2017 that only a fraction of Mississippians who applied for direct cash assistance were receiving it, she wondered what the state was doing with the hundreds of millions in federal grants designed to help those people.
Pocket has teamed up with the American Journalism Project to bring some of the best local journalism from across the country right to you—no matter where you live. Each month we’ll highlight deep dives into local stories with national impact—the kind of journalism that brings nuance and context to the major issues we face on a national scale. Read more about our partnership here and browse past collections to get your local fix.
Speaking truth to power is an essential element of democracy. And expanding the reach of that truth is one of the most vital roles of a free press. Here, we explore the tenacious reporting from publications ranging from The Marshall Project to Mississippi Today as they expose the different ways the system has failed our communities. Each of these journalists paints a fascinating, disheartening landscape of these failures, from a stalled—if not broken—promise to invest in the community of Buffalo’s East Side, to the effect North Carolina’s crumbling mental health system has on its inmate population.
Not only does their work center the experiences of communities typically underrepresented in the media; it pulls back the curtain on the misdeeds that a broken system relies on. Read on to see how these features shined a light on difficult, urgent transgressions, often paving the first steps toward a solution.
Would you confess to a crime you didn’t commit? It’s hard to imagine. But what if the police told you they had proof of your involvement in a decade-old cold case? And what if they suggested you just didn’t remember committing the crime?
"We need real, actual system change. We need legislation,” says Buffalo resident Jillian Hanesworth. “We need to be mindful about how it’s written and how it’s enforced, and unfortunately, a lot of people don’t really have a lot of faith that will happen.”
Despite efforts to divert people from state jails into mental health treatment, our investigation shows the death toll of inmates with documented symptoms has exponentially grown since 2012. This story is the second in a broader series, “Deadly Detention,” investigating jails across Texas.
Five “serious and disturbing incidents” include a case THE CITY surfaced of an incarcerated man so badly hurt he went on a ventilator — and is now paralyzed.
The mental health care system in North Carolina has been failing for years. Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than those who get caught up in the criminal justice system, out of sight, therefore out of mind for the general public and policymakers. But their plight—and the brokenness of the mental health system—affects everyone in the state.
The culture of gender discrimination goes beyond overt harassment within the ranks. It also can impact how El Paso police respond to violence against women, experts say—resulting in an insensitive, disbelieving or blaming attitude that affects how officers treat women in the community.
“Although it was a coincidence, I knew it wasn’t a mistake. What Louisiana was doing to men like my brother Elvis and my son Cedric was intentional.”
Connect with some of the best local journalism from outlets across the country, explore the issues facing our communities, and discover your next favorite story.
American Journalism Project
The American Journalism Project (AJP) is the first venture philanthropy dedicated to local news. AJP makes grants to local nonprofit news organizations to build their revenue and business operations, partner with communities to launch new organizations, and mentor leaders as they grow and sustain their newsrooms. Learn more about the independent, community-driven nonprofit news organizations AJP supports.