Susan Ferriss

Reporter  The Center for Public Integrity

Susan Ferriss is a prize-winning former foreign correspondent who has been investigating treatment of children by the U.S. justice and immigration system, law enforcement and the school-discipline process. She joined the Center in 2011. She won a first-place investigative prize from the national Education Writers Association for her 2012 series revealing how thousands of Los Angeles school police citations were pushing mostly Latino and black kids, almost half younger than 14, into courts for minor infractions. She is also a two-time Casey journalism award finalist for her police stories and an investigation into excessive expulsions of students in Kern County, California’s “expulsion capital.” In 2014, she won Columbia University’s Tobenkin national journalism award for reporting on discrimination for “Throwaway Kids.” This report documented how Latino farmworker kids were forced to attend alternative schools in California so far away from home they either dropped out, or only attended one day a week while enrolled full time on paper. As a reporter at the Sacramento Bee, Susan produced prize-winning immigration stories and covered state government and politics. And as a Latin America correspondent for nearly a decade with Cox Newspapers, Susan covered everything from indigenous rights movements and death squads in Colombia to transnational migration and drug trafficking. Her series on failed economic reforms in Mexico won top honors from the Overseas Press Club and the Inter-American Press Association and was a Loeb business reporting finalist. Susan is co-author of The Fight in the Fields, a history of Cesar Chavez and the farmworker movement and producer of The Golden Cage, a documentary about farmworkers. She was a Knight fellow at Stanford University and is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and UC Berkeley.

Litigation follows Center pieces highlighting harsh discipline for minorities.

Teens' tortured road to asylum in America.

Groups trying to curb use of police in school discipline urge federal officials not give military weapons to campus police departments.

Effort aims to keep police involvement in minor school infractions to a minimum in L.A. schools.

Civil rights groups are challenging ordinances that prohibit cooperation with federal officials if they ask to shelter kids in towns.

Reports have long warned of chaos in Central America many minors say they want to escape.

Kids whose dad was killed by gangsters are among the plaintiffs in a suit arguing that children should have lawyers in immigration court.

Child advocates are worried possible legal changes could cut off migrant kids' access to social workers, asylum lawyers.

A top juvenile court judge objects to a proposal giving school police $13 million out of a state fund to help disadvantaged kids learn.

The Council of State Governments warns that harsh school dicipline disproportionately harms ethnic minority, disabled and LBGT students.

A majority state Senate leader in Tennessee says he is troubled by a Center report on accused truants prosecuted, jailed with no lawyers.

A lawsuit filed on behalf of kids in poor California schools demands state monitor and intervene practices depriving kids of teaching time.

Tennessee teen truant was jailed, allegedly without being informed of right to counsel.

A court and sheriff's department with a checkered past are accused in a suit of tolerating abuse of a boy in court.

Court procedures leave minor offenders with few rights.

Ethnic minority children will be majority of U.S. kids in four years, but face barriers to success in some places.

A judge freed a foster girl from adult jail after a school police arrest, but N.C. social services fail to come get her.

Holder, Duncan express shock at suspensions of thousands of preschoolers.

As California readies to direct millions to districts with neediest kids, a new policy brief warns against spending it on campus security.

Researchers and educators urge schools to embrace alternatives to kicking kids out on suspension.

Numbers of Central American and Mexico minors who say they're fleeing violence are surging.

'My Brother's Keeper' is a $200 million program aimed at keeping minority youth out of the criminal justice system.

New California data reveal 12 percent drop in suspensions, expulsions.

City by the Bay pulls back on interrogations and arrests.

North Carolina complaint complaint alleges heavy-handed tactics inside schools.

Departments of Education and Justice team up to produce resource for school discipline and role of school police.

Black students are only 8% of S.F. high schoolers, yet 50% of those suspended for 'willful defiance.'

After years of issuing thousands of tickets to students for minor infractions, L.A. school police will no longer cite kids 12 and younger.

Andy Lopez, 13, was shot dead by deputies in California who came upon him walking with a pellet gun shaped like an AK-47.

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