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.

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.

Advocates upset by Gov. Jerry Brown's veto of bill they say would limit student transfers to 'community schools'

New report says teens involved in prostitution should be treated as victims.

Disciplined teens get no education for months because they can't do commute.

As states confront high costs of incarceration, a push to better help kids before they become adult offenders.

Report questions 'disproportionate' targeting by Oakland police

Center piece on 'throwaway kids' spurs search for alternatives.

California litigation cites 'unconscionable conditions' in Contra Costa County.

The Advancement Project, a civil rights initiative, holds conference in D.C. to address educators' frustrations as well as student concerns.

This week's news about teen prostitution rings are a reminder that educators can help keep teens from predators.

Youths in Florida and other states speak out against Stand Your Ground laws, racial profiling, following Zimmerman verdict.

Strict district policies, distance from alternatives leave some disciplined teens no option but to school themselves.

L.A. school board limits suspensions for "willful defiance"

Human Rights Watch investigates how minors, even for innocuous offenses, can end up on sex-offender registries for life.

Golden State lawmakers latest to think about limits.

New immigration bill may ease years-long 'bars' that have split spouses and children

Report says minorities are cited disproportionately

Criminologists say gun lobby strategy 'superficially simple'

Black students were being arrested for minor infractions, and five times more likely to get suspended than whites for same allegations

Representatives from American Families United testified before House Judiciary subcommittee on hardships of immigration bars

As Congress debates immigration reform, mental-health investigators urge legislators to consider children's welfare.

Push for more police post-Newtown runs up against concern about 'school-to-prison pipeline'

U.S. still tops, but rates have declined

Separated families meet with Rep. Gutierrez, hoping to be included in proposed reforms.

Students can be exploited more if they are suspended or expelled for misbehavior and left unsupervised alone.

New York advocacy group says state is not protecting kids in foster care

Juvenile judges latest group to express concern over armed guards in schools

School reform groups question proposals emerging from shootings