The Journalists

Our fellows reporting on criminal justice issues. 

Lisa Armstrong has reported from several countries, including Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Philippines, and reported from Haiti from 2010 to 2014. She is currently reporting on juvenile incarceration and recently published a story about minors who have been sentenced to life without parole.

Lara Bazelon is​ ​an attorney,​ writer, ​and ​teacher whose work is informed by her career​ as a deputy federal public defender. In her writing, she explores the root causes, the life-shattering consequences, and the potential for much-needed reforms by using powerful, character-driven stories.

Michael Blanding is an independent journalist whose focus includes corporate accountability, immigration, sexual abuse, and prison reform. 

Phillip Martin is a senior investigative reporter for WGBH News. He has reported on human trafficking in southern New England, the Boston Marathon bombing, Whitey Bulger, carbon offset schemes, police shootings, training and race, the Occupy movement and the fishing industry in New England, among other topics.

Erin Siegal McIntyre focuses on investigating and reporting on immigration issues, including reporting on the deportation of undocumented immigrants in the United States and fraudulent, criminal, and corrupt practices in international adoption between Guatemala and the United States. 

Elaine Murphy has spent decades investigating systemic corruption and abuses of power within the criminal justice system. She is currently writing about wrongful convictions, police misbehavior, and the epidemic of violence within urban battle zones. 

Seth Freed Wessler is an independent investigative reporter based in New York who has reported from across the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean on immigration, the social safety net, and criminal justice.

Hella Winston is an independent journalist whose work involves on-going investigative reporting for The New York Jewish Week. Her reporting has drawn public attention to a “parallel justice system” involving the cover up of child sexual abuse in some fervently Orthodox Jewish communities.

Criminal Justice & Law

Photo by Mateo Parrini

Schuster Institute staff and fellows tell the stories of people trapped or embattled by ineffective legislation or weaknesses within the criminal justice system with a view to illuminating possible positive policy and procedural changes.

Seth Freed Wessler - Private Prisons

ICE Plans to Reopen the Very Same Private Prison the Feds Just Closed, Seth Freed Wessler, The Nation, Oct. 27, 2017

The Obama Administration Continues Pulling Away From Private Prison Companies, Seth Freed Wessler, The Nation, Sept. 2, 2016

The Justice Department Will End All Federal Private Prisons, Following a 'Nation' Investigation, Seth Freed Wessler, The Nation, Aug. 18, 2016

The Feds Will Shut Down the Troubled Private Prison in a 'Nation' Investigation, Seth Freed Wessler, The Nation, Aug. 15, 2016

Federal Officials Ignored Years of Warnings About Deaths at Private Prisons, Seth Freed Wessler, The Nation, June 15, 2016

  • 6/15/2016 Officials from the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) have been ignoring "years of internal warnings about deaths at private prisons." In part two of his investigation, Wessler reports that the "BOP had been warned of substandard care by its own monitors for years but failed to act. An examination of thousands of pages of previously unreleased files revealed that gravely ill prisoners had been left untreated, or relegated to the care of low-level medical workers. In some facilities, inmates went months without seeing a doctor. Some prisoners who required emergency care were not transferred to a hospital, in an apparent attempt to save costs."
This Man Will Almost Certainly Die, Seth Freed Wessler, The Nation, Jan. 28, 2016

Immigration Law

Erin Siegal McIntyre's Dedicated Reporting on Immigration and Deportation

Thousands of US Veterans Deported After Service
Erin Siegal McIntyre, August 1, 2013, KPCC Southern California Public Radio.

Child Sexual Abuse Coverups in Ultra Orthodox Jewish Communities

Hella Winston's Four Years of Revealing Child Sexual Abuse in Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Communities


DNA Testing Access Law for Prisoners in Massachusetts

Post-Conviction DNA Testing in Massachusetts

Failing the DNA Test
Michael Blanding and Lindsay Markel, November 20, 2011, The Boston Globe Magazine.


Wrongful Convictions

Justice Brandeis Law Project


Other Topics

Pennsylvania’s Shame
Lara Bazelon, October 12, 2016, Slate.

When Hollywood Meets the DA
Hella Winston, July 16, 2013, The Crime Report.

Prisoners Rule
James Verini, November 2012, Foreign Policy.