Best of AP — Honorable Mention


Life after prison can be harder than life behind bars, especially for women

Heather Jarvis pauses as she speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, Ohio, Oct. 19, 2023. Jarvis is part of the fastest-growing prison population in the country, one of more than 190,000 women held in some form of confinement in the United States as of this year. Their numbers grew by more than 500% between 1980 and 2021. AP PHOTO / CAROLYN KASTER

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Reporter Samantha Hendrickson, video journalist Patrick Orsagos, and photographer Carolyn Kaster delved into the seldom-told story of life after prison for women. Hendrickson delivered her Report for America capstone story on her last day at the AP. She interviewed Heather Jarvis, an Ohio inmate nearing the end of her 10-year sentence, followed her release and tracked her subsequent adjustment to life outside.

Hendrickson captured the difficulties Jarvis faced, including a breach of her release terms, and broadened the story to reflect the wider challenges faced by former inmates.

Orsagos and Kaster enhanced the narrative with an intimate video and photo package, reinforcing the personal connection.

The story gained significant traction and was featured in numerous publications and TV stations across the country.

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