John Jay College’s annual prizes for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting  are the nation’s only specific awards granted for justice journalism. Established in 2006, the awards are announced annually in January for work published or posted online by a U.S.-based media outlet in the previous 12 months, and are given in two categories: “single story” and “series.”

Called the “Pulitzers” of crime  journalism, the $1,500 awards are administered by the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay, and judged by a panel of leading journalists and educators. They highlight investigative, feature, analytical,and enterprise work that has had a significant impact on public understanding of criminal justice issues.

To qualify for submission, stories must be published or posted between November 1 and October 31 of the previous year. Deadlines and instructions for filing are posted online at The Crime Report at the beginning of each prize period.

The prizes are awarded at a special dinner during the annual two-day John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America in February.

The annual prizes are supported by a grant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.

Entry fee: $75

For questions about the prize, please contact Ricardo Martinez  at: , 646.557.4690; or Stephen Handelman at:   


2019 Winners:   Type Investigations and Pro Publica

2018 Winners:    Miami Herald  and Chicago Reader

View photos of the 2018 Trailblazer and Prize dinner here

2017 Winners    ProPublica and Mother Jones

2016 Winners   The Marshall Project and the Belleville News-Democrat

2015 Winners   The New Yorker and the Post and Courier (Charleston)

2014 Winners  The (Sarasota) Herald Tribune and the South Florida Sun Sentinel

2013 Winners   The Times-Picayune and Mother Jones

2012 Winners  The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and Mother Jones

2011 Winners   New York Magazine and The Philadelphia Inquirer

2010 Winners  The Belleville News Democrat and the Austin Chronicle

2009 Winners  The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and The Times Herald-Record

2008 Winners      The Denver Post and The Wall Street Journal

2007 Winners        The San Jose Mercury and The Sacramento Bee

2006 Winners      The Rocky Mountain News and the Boston Phoenix



Since 2013, The Crime Report  in collaboration with the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay College has honored individuals from the media and related fields who have expanded public awareness about the challenges and complexities of criminal justice.

The 2018 Trailblazer was Bill Moyers.

Past winners have included David Simon, creator of “The Wire” (2013); Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black (2014);  Maria Hinojosa, PBS host and founder of Futuro Media (2015); and Jelani Cobb (2016), New Yorker writer and director of the Institute for African American Studies at the University of Connecticut;  Van Jones. of CNN.