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Journalism for Justice

January 17, 2023

Former Washington Post journalist Radley Balko is joining the Quattrone Center as a Journalist Fellow.

The Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice, a nonpartisan, national research and policy hub at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, announced today that former Washington Post and Slate journalist, Radley Balko, will be joining its team as a Journalist Fellow, where he will continue investigating and writing about errors in the criminal justice system.

Radley Balko Radley Balko“Radley has been an incredibly thoughtful writer on a variety of police reform and wrongful conviction issues,” said John F. Hollway C’92, MAPP’18, Executive Director of the Quattrone Center and Associate Dean of Penn Carey Law. “This is a great opportunity to add his voice to the work we are doing, while providing him with research assistance, access to Quattrone Center data, and our affiliate network as he looks to investigate and understand how different parts of the criminal justice system work.”

An independent writer and investigative journalist, Balko was formerly an opinion journalist for The Washington Post where he specialized in commentary and longform reporting on civil liberties and the criminal justice system. His work has been cited twice in U.S. Supreme Court opinions, by the Mississippi Supreme Court, and by three federal appeals courts. His reporting has contributed to the release of one man from death row, and another from a life sentence, and led to substantive reforms in St. Louis County, Missouri; Little Rock, Arkansas; and the state of Mississippi.

“I’ve always tried to look to data and research to guide my reporting and analysis. So I’m excited to be working with an organization whose scholars are doing such interesting, groundbreaking research on reforming the criminal justice system,” said Balko.

Prior to his time at The Washington Post, Balko was a senior writer and investigative report at The Huffington Post, and a reporter and senior editor for Reason magazine. He is the author of the acclaimed books, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces and The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South, co-authored by Tucker Carrington.

Balko’s honors and journalism awards include the Deadline Award for best feature writing (2021); the Bastiat Prize for Journalism (2017); the NACDL Champion of Justice Award (2016); the Innocence Project Journalism Award (2015); the LA Press Club’s Journalist of the Year (2011); and the Western Publications Award for Best News Story (2010).

In addition to his role with the Quattrone Center, Balko is currently a freelance contributor for several outlets, and regularly publishes his work on his Substack, “The Watch.”

Learn more about the Quattrone Center’s pathbreaking work.