Crime and justice stories were among the winners of this year’s Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism given by the Journalism Center on Children & Families based at the University of Maryland. The St. Petersburg Times won a medal for its six-part series chronicling decades of rape, starvation, and the hog-tying of students at Florida's oldest state reform school. The center cited “meticulous reporting, unflinching photographs, uncensored language and scores of documents” used by the newspaper.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel won for a series that “went beyond the story of one child's death in foster care to discover that 22 additional children died as a result of systemic neglect.” The runner-up in a single-article category for which there was no winner was the Chicago Tribune for “the story of one of the most notorious murders in Chicago history – from the perspective of one of the young boys, now a grown man, who committed it. The culmination of a 15-year-long series, the sordid tale shows how two young perpetrators were victims as much as victimizers.” The Houston Press won for a story about the Harris County, Tx., sheriff placing children as young as 15 in solitary confinement, with no counseling, physical activity, and education. A runner up was the Austin (Tx.) Chronicle for “exemplary investigative reporting on a sensitive issue – child sexual abuse – with national implications.”