“They Took Us Away From Each Other”: Lost Inside America’s Shadow Foster System

“It would take years before Molly and Heaven would learn that neither of them was ever in the foster system. Instead, caseworkers had diverted them to what some scholars call ‘hidden foster care’ or ‘shadow foster care,’ in which the legal protections of the formal system disappear.”

Published: Dec 1, 2021
Length: 36 minutes (9,168 words)

The Child Care Industry Was Collapsing. Mrs. Jackie Bet Everything on an Impossible Dream to Save It.

“Jackie Thomas was $29,134 in debt and in trouble with state regulators. She hadn’t slept in days. If a judge ruled against her, she’d fail the mothers who could only keep their jobs thanks to the 24-hour child care she offered.”

Source: ProPublica
Published: May 1, 2021
Length: 21 minutes (5,300 words)

Tethered to the Machine

“For years, JaMarcus Crews tried to get a new kidney, but corporate healthcare stood in the way. He needed dialysis to stay alive. He couldn’t miss a session, not even during a pandemic.”

Source: ProPublica
Published: Dec 15, 2020
Length: 31 minutes (7,785 words)

The Black American Amputation Epidemic

In the Mississippi Delta, one doctor was determined to make sure that no one unnecessarily lost a limb. He was up against the odds.

Source: Pro Publica
Published: May 20, 2020
Length: 30 minutes (7,500 words)

When Medical Debt Collectors Decide Who Gets Arrested

The judge has no legal background. The lawyer gets a cut of any collections. And the people of Coffeyville end up buried in debt or in jail or both, just for trying to go to the doctor.

Source: ProPublica
Published: Oct 16, 2019
Length: 22 minutes (5,575 words)

Their Family Bought Land One Generation After Slavery. The Reels Brothers Spent Eight Years in Jail for Refusing to Leave It.

A deeply upsetting object lesson in how the arcane details of inheritance and property law are used to strip black Americans of their land.

Source: ProPublica
Published: Jul 15, 2019
Length: 30 minutes (7,602 words)

Safe Houses

Around the country, a network of women like Mily Treviño-Sauceda and Valentina are helping Latina farm-workers escape domestic violence and abuses at work, learn their rights, and connect with social services. They believe that if immigrants can’t confront violence at home, they can never combat workplace discrimination.

Published: Oct 3, 2018
Length: 15 minutes (3,768 words)

Whatever’s Your Darkest Secret, You Can Ask Me

A feature on a growing secret network women who — bucking the law and the medical establishment — are getting trained to offer abortions, safely and inexpensively, in the privacy of women’s homes.

Published: Mar 28, 2018
Length: 27 minutes (6,799 words)

Losing Gloria

After their mother was arrested and deported to Nogales, Mexico, the Marin children became wards of the state, forced to split up and live in separate homes in an overwhelmed and underfunded foster care system. Their story is just one example of the roughly half a million U.S.-born children who’ve lost a parent to arrest, detention, and deportation between 2009 and 2013.

Published: Jun 1, 2017
Length: 26 minutes (6,730 words)

Below Deck

Lizzie Presser reports on the Dickensian treatment of Filipino workers aboard Carnival Cruise Line ships — where the routine involves 12 and 14-hour days, seven-days a week for paltry pay and zero overtime — just to be able to provide better lives for families they rarely get to see.

Published: Feb 2, 2017
Length: 25 minutes (6,371 words)