Ryan Gabrielson

Reporter

Photo of Ryan Gabrielson

Ryan Gabrielson is a reporter for ProPublica covering the U.S. justice system. In 2013, his stories for the Center for Investigative Reporting on violent crimes at California’s board-and-care institutions for the developmentally disabled were a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Previously, he was a reporter at the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Arizona. In 2009, he and Tribune colleague Paul Giblin won a Pulitzer Prize for stories that exposed how immigration enforcement by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office undermined investigations and emergency response. Gabrielson's work has received numerous national honors, including two George Polk Awards, a Livingston Award for national reporting, the Al Nakkula Award for Police Reporting and a pair of Sigma Delta Chi Awards. He was a 2009-2010 investigative reporting fellow at UC Berkeley. A Phoenix native, Gabrielson studied journalism at the University of Arizona.

Desperate Hospitals May Put Two Patients on One Ventilator. That’s Risky.

Facing a ventilator shortage, doctors are considering using one machine for multiple patients in respiratory failure. But it’s at best a stopgap and can injure the lungs.

A Key FBI Photo Analysis Method Has Serious Flaws, Study Says

After ProPublica’s reporting last year, scientists at UC Berkeley tested one of the FBI Lab’s photo analysis techniques, identifying bluejeans by the pattern on their seams, and found flaws that challenge the method’s reliability.

California Takes a First Step Toward Improving Its Failing County Jails

After an investigation by McClatchy and ProPublica, a state oversight agency is proposing tougher scrutiny and consequences for dangerous conditions in California’s county jails.

California’s Jails Are in a Deadly Crisis. Here’s How Experts Suggest Fixing Them.

An investigation by McClatchy and ProPublica found unchecked violence and inhumane conditions in county jails, but the state’s oversight agency has no power to stop it. Experts say that needs to change.

California Gave Billions in Taxpayer Dollars to Improve Jails. But That’s Not How These Sheriffs Are Spending It.

California has given counties more than $8 billion to handle thousands of new inmates. But lax spending rules and limited scrutiny have allowed some sheriffs to use that money for other things, which may violate state law.

We Investigated the Crisis in California’s Jails. Now, the Governor Calls for More Oversight.

Gov. Gavin Newsom wants the state to have more power to scrutinize local jails. This comes after a McClatchy and ProPublica investigation found the agency meant to oversee the jails is toothless and that some jail conditions are inhumane.

A Jail Increased Extreme Isolation to Stop Suicides. More People Killed Themselves.

The Kern County, CA Sheriff’s Office places hundreds of people into suicide watch each year. They’re held for days or weeks in rooms without mattresses and sometimes toilets. The state can’t stop it.

A Year After an Inmate Was Choked to Death in Jail, a Murder Charge but Few Details

Lorenzo Herrera, 19, was found dead in a Fresno County Jail cell in March 2018. A man has been charged, but detectives say they’re still trying to determine if there are additional suspects.

Deadly Delays in Jail Construction Cost Lives and Dollars Across California

Sixty-five jail construction projects, totaling $2.1 billion, were awarded funds since realignment. Only 11 have opened. Meanwhile, dangerous jails have become more deadly.

There Has Been an Explosion of Homicides in California’s County Jails. Here’s Why.

Some California county jails saw their rate of inmate-on-inmate homicides triple or quadruple, and statewide the number rose 46% after 2011 prison reforms shifted responsibility from state prisons to county lockups. As sheriffs and jail staffs strain, some inmate crimes go undetected for hours.

California Tried to Fix Its Prisons. Now County Jails Are More Deadly.

In a 48-hour stretch during January 2018, three men were booked into the Fresno County Jail. One was beaten into a coma. Two died soon afterward. Their cases kicked off a nightmarish year in a local jail where problems trace back to California’s sweeping 2011 prison downsizing and criminal justice reforms.

FBI Scientist’s Statements Linked Defendants to Crimes, Even When His Lab Results Didn’t

Court records and FBI Lab files show statements by prosecutors or Richard Vorder Bruegge, the most prominent member of the Forensic Audio, Video and Image Analysis Unit, veered from his original conclusions in at least three cases.

What Do You Know About County Jails in California? Talk to Us.

ProPublica and The Sacramento Bee are spending the year reporting on resources, safety and crowding in California county jails.

The FBI Says Its Photo Analysis Is Scientific Evidence. Scientists Disagree.

The bureau’s image unit has linked defendants to crime photographs for decades using unproven techniques and baseless statistics. Studies have begun to raise doubts about the unit’s methods.

Prominent Texas Surgeon Sues ProPublica and the Houston Chronicle

Bud Frazier, a pioneer in the development of artificial hearts, filed a libel suit alleging he was “falsely” portrayed in two articles exploring alleged lapses in research and ethical practices.

Legal Footnote: You Have to Look Hard to See the Supreme Court Correct Its Mistakes

When the justices err, care is taken not to call attention to the mishaps. Some think that’s its own mistake.

Suspect Evidence Informed a Momentous Supreme Court Decision on Criminal Sentencing

The U.S. Sentencing Commission helped send more people to prison for longer terms. It’s a shame it was created to address a nonexistent crisis. Here’s how the Supreme Court got misled.

It’s a Fact: Supreme Court Errors Aren’t Hard to Find

A ProPublica review adds fuel to a longstanding worry about the nation’s highest court: The justices can botch the truth, sometimes in cases of great import.

Trump’s Pardon Aside, Reporters Have Built Long Rap Sheet Against Sheriff Joe

Trump hailed Joe Arpaio’s “admirable service” in Arizona. There’s more to his career than that.

The Joe Arpaio I Knew

The former Maricopa County sheriff made his name in part by targeting immigrants — even after a judge ordered him to stop. As President Trump considers a pardon, it’s worth remembering precisely what Arpaio did in his decades in law enforcement.

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