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AP spotlights remarkable rise of federal prison official accused of misconduct


After being tipped earlier this year to Hinkle’s past, Sisak and Balsamo went about securing and scrutinizing 1,600 pages of documents that provided details of the allegations and developed key sources within the prisons system who corroborated the accusations. Finally, toward the end of the reporting process, they secured comment from Hinkle and the bureau, both of which acknowledged his previous excesses but said he was a changed man.

Balsamo and Sisak made sure that the story underwent legal and standards reviews before publication. They also worked with the Washington video team and the Digital Audiences team to ensure material was available for an explanatory video and social promotion, particularly on Instagram. Washington’s Jon Elswick worked with them to develop a set of images of documents and prison exteriors to make the story as visually rich as possible given the prison bureau’s refusal to cooperate.

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