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ABOUT LJJP

OUR MISSION

LJJP’s mission is to help reporters improve their reporting and published work on the criminal legal system in print, radio, and television. Throughout history, coverage of crime, courts, and safety has dramatically influenced public perception on these issues, and in turn, it has contributed to mass incarceration.

 

LJJP hopes to provide reporters with a robust set of tools to improve coverage of these often complex issues.

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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EMILY BAZELON

Writer

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JESSICA BRAND

Founder

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PREMAL DHARIA

Editor

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SAM FULWOOD III

Dean

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CHERRI GREGG

Anchor

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EMILY BAZELON

Staff Writer, New York Times Magazine

Author, Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration

Connect at @emilybazelon

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine, the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School, and a co-host of Slate’s Political Gabfest, a popular weekly podcast. She is the author of two national bestsellers published by Penguin Random House: Charged, about the power of prosecutors, and Sticks and Stones, about how to prevent bullying. In 2020, Charged won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the current interest category and the Silver Gavel Book Award from the American Bar Association. It was also a finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize and the Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism from the New York Public Library. Before joining the Times Magazine, Emily was a writer and editor for nine years at Slate. She is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School.

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JESSICA BRAND

Founder, Wren Collective

Connect at jessica.brand@wrencollective.com

Jessica Brand is a criminal justice expert with significant experience in policy and political communications. Previously, she served as the Legal Director at The Justice Collaborative, heading a team of attorneys, researchers, journalists, and media strategists that worked to reduce the harm caused by the deeply flawed criminal justice system. In that job, she advised elected officials across the country as they tried to proactively implement meaningful change, while leading communication strategies to roll out policies to safely shrink incarceration levels and supervision in their jurisdiction. She also led teams in responding to crisis situations, and worked with media to soften the groundwork for criminal justice reform.

 

Jessica previously worked at the Texas Defender Service in the capital trial project, where she consulted with trial teams in death penalty cases across the state of Texas and conducted state-wide trainings on understanding mental health and performing capital defense investigation. Prior to that, Jessica was a staff attorney in the appellate division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. She also served as a member of the forensic practice group, and she continues to train lawyers across the country on litigating the admissibility of forensic evidence. Following law school, she clerked for Judge Michael McConnell on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.​

 

Jessica has been published in Slate, CNN, and The Appeal, and has been featured on NPR and CSPAN.

 

​Jessica graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2007, and summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Defender Service and the University of Pennsylvania Platt House Performing Arts Alumni Council

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PREMAL DHARIA

Executive Director, Institute to End Mass Incarceration

Founding Editor, Inquest

Connect at @premaldharia

 

Premal Dharia is a founding editor of Inquest and is the Executive Director of the Institute to End Mass Incarceration at Harvard Law School, where she is also a Lecturer on Law. Previously, she spent nearly 15 years as a public defender in three different places: the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., the Office of the Federal Public Defender in Baltimore, Maryland, and the military commission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She has represented hundreds of people, tried dozens of cases and supervised lawyers at various levels of practice. In 2014, Ms. Dharia was selected for a three-month fellowship to help build out and train three new public defender offices in Palestine. After years in the field of public defense, she brought her years of direct service and substantial expertise to systemic work at Civil Rights Corps, where she was the Director of Litigation. In 2019, Ms. Dharia started building a new organization to incorporate public defender advocacy into the broader push for systemic change to the criminal legal system. She was a Criminal Justice Fellow at the Reflective Democracy Campaign, a project of the Women Donors Network, which supported the launch of that organization, the Defender Impact Initiative (DII), and Dharia’s investigation into the intersection of reflective democracy and the criminal system. Through DII, Ms. Dharia worked to reimagine the role of public defenders as systemic change agents, engaging community organizers, advocates and attorneys in the process. The work and ideas of DII have been incorporated into the Institute to End Mass Incarceration.

 

Ms. Dharia has spoken and written widely on systemic challenges in the criminal system, racial and carceral injustice, and the need for radical change. She serves on the Boards of the Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop and the Second Look Project, is on the Fellows Advisory Council of the International Legal Foundation, and is on the Academic Advisory Board of the Family Justice Law Center. Ms. Dharia graduated from Brown University with a degree in History and African-American Studies, with a focus on comparative postcolonial studies, and from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

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SAM FULWOOD III

Dean, School of Communication, American University

Connect at @SamFulwood

Sam Fulwood III is dean of American University’s School of Communication and a prominent journalist, public policy analyst and author, whose work addresses key issues of media influences on American life. He has written and lectured extensively across the United States and internationally on U.S. race relations, data-driven journalism, and the intersections of media, technology and democracy.

 

In addition to his work at SOC, Fulwood is a nonresident senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he was a senior fellow and vice president for race and equity programming. He was also the former director and founder of American Progress’ Leadership Institute, a program to assist with the advancement of people of color in public policy.

 

Earlier in his career, Fulwood was a metro columnist at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio, the last stop in a nearly three-decade journalism career that featured posts at several metropolitan newspapers. During the 1990s, he was a national correspondent in the Washington, D.C., bureau of the Los Angeles Times, where he contributed to the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

 

He has also worked as a business editor and state political editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; as an assistant city editor, business reporter, editorial writer, and Johannesburg, South Africa, bureau correspondent for the Baltimore Sun; and as a police, business, and sports reporter at The Charlotte Observer.

 

Fulwood is the author of two books: Waking from the Dream: My Life in the Black Middle Class (Anchor, 1996) and Full of It: Strong Words and Fresh Thinking for Cleveland (Gray & Company, 2004). Fulwood earned a Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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CHERRI GREGG, ESQ.

Host/News Anchor, WHYY Philadelphia

Connect at @cherrigregg

Cherri Gregg is the afternoon drive host/news anchor for WHYY-FM, the Philadelphia area NPR member station. Prior to her current position, the award winning journalist covered civil rights, social justice, race and public affairs issues impacting marginalized communities in the Greater Philadelphia region, spending nearly a decade on air at KYW Newsradio. She served as the station’s Community Affairs reporter and was the creator, host and executive producer of the weekly, syndicated radio show and podcast, “Flashpoint with Cherri Gregg.” Under her leadership, the show earned two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, an NABJ Salute to Excellence Award for Best Podcast and a Pennsylvania Bar Association Media Award all in 2021.
 

Cherri covered criminal justice reform extensively for both KYW Newsradio and CBS3 Eyewitness News, providing in-depth coverage of wrongful convictions, juvenile lifer releases, gun violence, policy and legislative efforts to end mass incarceration, as well as efforts to provide reentry services for returning citizens. Cherri has received numerous awards for her reporting on such issues, including a NABJ Salute To Excellence Award in Television for her investigation titled, “Driving While Black” and her multi-part, multimedia investigation titled, “Where’s Grandma.” She has moderated political debates, hosted town halls and other forums engaging diverse groups around policies and laws that impact underserved communities.
 

Cherri, who is also a licensed attorney, is a past president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. She has a B.S. from Boston University, a J.D. from Howard University School of Law and a M.J. from Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communications. She was named PABJ Journalist of the Year in both 2013 and 2019.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

MENTORS

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KERI BLAKINGER

Writer

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J. BRIAN CHARLES

Editor

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LINDA COOMBS

Journalist

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MENSAH DEAN

Writer

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SHAILA DEWAN

Editor

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CHRIS HALSNE

Lecturer

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JEFF PEGUES

Correspondent

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NEENA SAJITA

Reporter

STAFF

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JESSICA MURPHY

Project Director, LJJP

Connect at jessica.murphy@ljjp.org

 

Jessica Russell Murphy has 15+ years of experience supporting nonprofits and social change organizations with expertise in operations, governance, strategy, program management, and meetings/events.  Prior to starting her own consulting firm in 2022, she worked for The Appeal (formerly the Justice Collaborative), Institute of Current World Affairs, Coalition for Juvenile Justice, and the Girl Scouts of the Nation's Capital.  She currently lives in the DC metro area with her husband and three children.

 

ADVISORS

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JOSIE DUFFY RICE

National Journalist and Author

Connect at @jduffyrice

Josie Duffy Rice is a journalist, writer, law school graduate, and podcast host whose work is primarily focused on prosecutors, prisons, and other criminal justice issues. Currently, she’s an interim co-host of What a Day, Crooked Media’s daily news podcast. She is also the creator and co-host of the podcast Justice in America. Until May 2021, she was President of The Appeal, a news publication that publishes original journalism about the criminal justice system. 

Her writing has been featured in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Slate, among others. She was a writer on the FX show The Premise. Josie was also a consulting producer for Campside Media’s Suspect, which recently hit #1 on the podcast charts. 

 

Josie has appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Late Night with Seth Meyers, All In with Chris Hayes, and others. She’s also been a guest on podcasts such as You’re Wrong About, 5-4, Call Your Girlfriend, The Dig, 92Y, Why Is This Happening?, Citations Needed, and many more. She’s also been a regular guest host of Political Gabfest. 

 

Josie’s a graduate of Harvard Law School and received her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University. She is currently a Type Media Fellow, and was previously a 2020 New America Fellow and a Civic Media Fellow at University of Southern California’s Annenberg Innovation Lab. She is writing a book and lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children.

 

GET IN TOUCH

Questions about the Law & Justice Journalism Project or our Team? Send us a message and we'll get back to you soon!

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