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Joaquin Sapien

Reporter

Photo of Joaquin Sapien

Since joining ProPublica in May 2008, reporter Joaquin Sapien has delved into criminal justice, military healthcare, and environmental issues. In 2010 he partnered with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune to produce an award-winning series of stories about contaminated drywall. In 2009 he was part of a team whose work on natural gas drilling won the Society of Professional Journalists award for online non-deadline investigative reporting. From 2005 until 2008 he was a reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, where he led a year-long investigative project, âSuperfundâs Toxic Legacy,â which received the 2007 Society of Professional Journalists award for non-deadline online reporting. Before joining CPI, Sapien wrote for Environmental Media Services.

Rape and Other Sexual Violence Prevalent in Juvenile Justice System

The greatest rates of sexual assaults in the country’s juvenile detention facilities involve the very staff members charged with supervising and counseling the troubled youngsters.

A Prosecutor, a Wrongful Conviction and a Question of Justice

Jabbar Collins spent 16 years in prison for murder before he won his freedom, and with it a chance to take on the man who put him behind bars. Collins has accused Michael Vecchione, a senior Brooklyn prosecutor, of repeated acts of misconduct, and two federal judges indicated they think he may have a case. ProPublica examines Vecchione’s career, the allegations against him, and what strikes many as an inexplicable lack of accountability.

Lasting Damage: A Rogue Prosecutor’s Final Case

Claude Stuart, after a career full of trouble as a prosecutor in Queens, finally went too far when he lied to a judge in an effort to convict a man of murder.

Who Polices Prosecutors Who Abuse Their Authority? Usually Nobody

The innocent can wind up in prison. The guilty can be set free. But New York City prosecutors who withhold evidence, tolerate false testimony or commit other abuses almost never see their careers damaged.

What Researchers Learned About Gun Violence Before Congress Killed Funding

We spoke with the scientist who led the government's research on guns.

How the NRA Undermined Congress' Last Push for Gun Control

We reconstruct how the NRA advanced two measures long on its agenda in the wake of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.

Home Builders Lobby Weakens Drywall Legislation

A bill heralded by lawmakers as a victory for thousands of homeowners harmed by contaminated drywall was weakened after input from the homebuilding industry.

Mass Shootings Do Little to Change State Gun Laws

We take a look at what's happened legislatively in states where some of the worst shootings in recent U.S. history have occurred to see what effect, if any, those events had on gun laws.

Army Study Finds Troops Suffer Concussions in Training

Brain specialists say Army's training may make soldiers more vulnerable to head injuries on the battlefield.

One Soldier's Progress Against Traumatic Brain Injury

With the help of virtual-reality machines and a bevy of specialists, Sgt. Victor Medina's thinking and speaking rapidly improved. But he's among only a tiny fraction of brain-injured soldiers who get access to the most advanced treatment at military's new state-of-the-art center in Maryland.

EPA Sees Risks to Water, Workers In New York Fracking Rules

In 47 pages of comments, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency weighs in on New York’s potentially precedent-setting regulations for natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale.

Military Still Struggling to Treat Troops With Brain Injuries

Defense Department leaders and lawmakers have taken steps to improve the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injuries since ProPublica and NPR began a two-year investigation, but progress remains incremental.

Drywall Manufacturer Agrees to Settlement

Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin is the first manufacturer to agree to settle defective drywall cases lodged in federal court. The settlement could pay to repair more than 5,000 homes, plaintiffs’ attorneys say.

Senator Wants Answers on Program to Test Soldiers for Brain Injuries

Sen. Claire McCaskill has requested a briefing from the military on its troubled neurological testing program.

Senate Subcommittee Grills CPSC on Drywall

Lawmakers questioned CPSC and CDC officials about the progress of a years-long federal investigation into contaminated drywall at a Senate hearing.

Congressman Slams Military Brain-Testing Program

Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., sought support to fix the military’s cognitive testing program following a ProPublica and NPR report on the issue earlier this week.

Testing Program Fails Soldiers, Leaving Brain Injuries Undetected

Faced with a congressional mandate to use computerized testing to detect brain injuries, the military chose an unproven test and then botched its implementation.

Insurers for Drywall Supplier Settle Lawsuit

Stricter Regulation of Formaldehyde Remains Uncertain Despite Carcinogen Ruling

The Department of Health and Human Services has classified formaldehyde as "a known carcinogen," but it remains to be seen if the new designation will lead to tighter U.S. formaldehyde regulations.

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