The Community Tribune reinvents the business model for investigative news.
Amazing things Ben's made
A few years ago, I produced an original story about a government program that rehabilitated young offenders in Washington, D.C. without locking them up. The idea was a good one. Releasing nonviolent young people back to their families and providing them with mentors, tutors, and other services is less expensive and results in better outcomes than putting them in prison. Unfortunately, the program fell victim to widespread corruption and mismanagement.
Over six months, my investigation revealed that the program received $14 million in taxpayer funds, but many teens were released to the community and not given any support at all. Fifteen of these teens were then murdered, another fifteen were charged with murder, and just thirteen graduated from high school. As a result of this story, the program was overhauled, with an entirely new pool of service providers, a new office for complaints, and an Attorney General investigation into misused funds. The story also received journalism honors.