ProPublica

Journalism in the Public Interest

ProPublica’s “Busted” Investigation Wins August Sidney Award

The Sidney Hillman Foundation announced today that the ProPublica investigation “Busted” is the winner of the August Sidney Award. The monthly honor recognizes “outstanding journalism that fosters social and economic justice.”

Written by reporters Ryan Gabrielson and Topher Sanders, and published in partnership with the New York Times Magazine, the story focuses on how roadside drug tests deployed by law enforcement nationwide have been used to send tens of thousands of people to jail every year – despite evidence showing that these tests routinely produce false positives. Increasingly taking the place of scientific review in crime labs, the $2 drug tests often result in wrongful convictions that can include lengthy jail sentences, felon status, unemployment and undeserved social stigma.

“This ambitious investigation revealed a major miscarriage of justice,” said Sidney judge Lindsay Beyerstein. “Innocent people are being deprived of their freedom based on pseudoscience. We are grateful to these reporters for shining a light on a dark corner of the legal system.”

Read more about the Sidney Award here.

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