COLLEGE PARK (12/11/19) — The second project by the University of Maryland’s Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, on imprisoned juvenile lifers and their years without parole, went live online and premiered on PBS NewsHour on Tuesday.

The project, “Growing Up Behind Bars,” is a collaboration between the Howard Center, UMD’s Capital News Service and PBS NewsHour. It marked CNS’ third partnership with PBS.

The NewsHour story, which aired Tuesday night, was researched, shot and edited by Merrill College students, and was reported on-air by PBS senior correspondent John Yang.

“The three stories we’ve done with NewsHour illustrate the contribution journalism schools can make,” said Eleanor Merrill Distinguished Visiting Fellow Tom Bettag, one of the faculty leaders of the project. “At a time when budgets and staffs are short, students are eager to get experience. Properly led, they can be great researchers. 

“With today’s technology, they can shoot high-quality video and be excellent editors. For the students, the chance to produce in the field with a great correspondent is invaluable.”

The investigation examined the state of juvenile justice in the United States, the only country to condemn people to life in prison without parole for crimes committed as minors. Despite the Supreme Court ruling this unconstitutional in recent years, more than 2,000 juvenile lifers remain in prison. In addition to the PBS NewsHour segment, “Growing Up Behind Bars” is told through an assortment of stories looking at the changing landscape across the nation, and specifically in Maryland.

The Howard Center, with a mission to train the next generation of investigative journalists, is generously funded by $3 million from the Scripps Howard Foundation and honors the legacy of Roy W. Howard, former chairman of the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain and a pioneering news reporter.


Growing Up Behind Bars Stories


Growing Up Behind Bars Credits

Web design and development: Camila Velloso

Reporting and writing: Athiyah Azeem, Victoria Daniels, Hannah Gaskill, Dominique Janifer, Lynsey Jeffery, Jamie Kerner, Lauren Perry, Sara Salimi, Delon Thornton, Emily Top and Camila Velloso

Data analysis: Riin Aljas, Hannah Gaskill and Camila Velloso

Video: Athiyah Azeem, Hannah Gaskill, Dominique Janifer, Lynsey Jeffery, Jamie Kerner, Lauren Perry, Sara Salimi, Delon Thornton, Emily Top and Camila Velloso

Graphics: Hannah Gaskill, Ally Tobler and Camila Velloso

Project editors: Kathy Best, Tom Bettag, Karen Denny, Marty Kaiser, Adam Marton and Sean Mussenden

Audience engagement: Alex Pyles

For more information, contact:
Josh Land
joshland@umd.edu
301-405-1321