2015 Awards

Glenn Smith

(L-R) Stephen Handelman (CMCJ Director), Glenn Smith (Charleston Post-Courier), Jeremy Travis (President, John Jay College

Jennifer Gonnerman of The New Yorker magazine, and an investigative reporting team of The Post and Courier in Charleston, SC – Doug Pardue, Glenn Smith, Jennifer Berry Hawes and Natalie Caula Hauff – won the John Jay College/Harry Frank Guggenheim 2015 Awards for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting.

The Post & Courier team subsequently won the Pulitzer Gold Medal for Public Service for its work. Jennifer Gonnerman’s work was a Pulitzer finalist[see below].

Runner-up in the single-entry category was awarded to Beth Schwartzapel of American Prospect for “The Great American Chain Gang,” which explored prison work across the country. There were two runner-ups in the series category: the reporting team of Bob Ortega and Rob O’Dell of the Arizona Republic earned the judges’ praise for “Force at the Border,” which examined the Customs and Border Protection agency, and prodded a further investigation that resulted in tightening the rules on use of deadly force.

The reporting team of Jerry Mitchell, Emily Le Coz, Jackie Mader, Kate Royals, Monica Land and Sarah Butrymowicz of the Jackson, MS Clarion-Ledger was a co-runner-up for its hard-hitting investigation of the state’s prison system, “Hard Look at Hard Time.”

Additional Note

The Post and Courier newspaper of Charleston, S.C., won the annual Pulitzer Prize for public service on Monday for “Till Death Do Us Part,” which the judges described as “a riveting series that probed why South Carolina is among the deadliest states in the union for women and put the issue of what to do about it on the state’s agenda.” The same series was named the winner of several other awards, including the John Jay College/Harry Frank Guggenheim Award for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting this past February.

Glenn Smith, who accepted the John Jay/Guggenheim award on behalf of a team of four reporters at the newspaper, was a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow at an annual criminal justice conference sponsored by John Jay’s Center on Media, Crime and Justice (CMCJ), the co-publisher of The Crime Report.

Jennifer Gonnerman of The New Yorker magazine, who won the single-article criminal justice reporting award in the same John Jay College/Harry Frank Guggenheim competition this year, was named a finalist in the Pulitzer Prize’s feature writing category for the same article, which the Pulitzer judges called “a taut, spare, devastating re-creation of the three-year imprisonment of a young man at Rikers Island, much of it spent in solitary confinement, after he was arrested for stealing a backpack.”

The prizes, administered by John Jay’s Center on Media, Crime and Justice (CMCJ) recognize the best work published by U.S.-based print and online journalists between November 2013 and October 2014, and come with a cash award of $1,000 in each category and a plaque. Runners-up receive a certificate of Honorable Mention. Special attention is paid to work that has had an impact on public policy or debate.

Read the New Yorker story “Down by the Law” here.

Read Post and Courier story  “Till Death Do Us Part,” here.