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.

Cops, judges, politicians taking a new look at fines and handcuffs

Meeting called with Calif. state finance staff to consider possible closure of all state youth prisons

A task force in Los Angeles, Calif. attacks harsh school discipline, truancy dollar fines

Md. considers dramatic reduction of suspensions; Mich. school suspends boy for long hair

A Virginia dad wants alert from schools when discipline starts, and in California ACLU objects to police interrogating student journalists

A new federal report recommends serious study, reconsideration of imprisoning youths as adults

New director: Georgia's youth prisons troubled by guard turnover, workers having sex with wards and more violent population

Brown, legislators tussle over proposed closure of last three youth facilities

New York has tough fines for violating a ban on real-looking guns, a law to protect kids

En California, el Condado de Kern en vanguardia del debate nacional sobre los costos y beneficios de dura disciplina escolar

A report criticizes Georgia confinement of kids for repeating minor "status offenses," such as curfew violations

Texas shooting highlights struggles to regulate pellet guns, BB guns and toys.

Reports suggest student "sexting" not big practice; best response to it is debated

Kern tied for state lead in expelling student smokers

California discipline data a great resource, but a detailed look finds errors

County board of education decides boy at heart of Center probe should not be kicked out of school

Kern County, California at ground zero in debate over school discipline

New report finds disproportionate punishments for black students in North Carolina

Child advocates say assistance needed to keep young border crossers away from criminals

A new study says nearly 60 percent of Texas school students were suspended or expelled at least once between 7th and 12th grade