Sarah Smith covers housing, mental health, poverty and religion for ProPublica's South unit. She previously worked on the Houston Chronicle’s metro desk, where she investigated the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s failure to oversee one of its biggest private housing contractors. Before the Chronicle, she worked at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where her investigation into abuse and cover-ups in independent fundamental Baptist churches led to arrests across the country. She also has worked as a legislative relief reporter for the Associated Press in Mississippi and as a fellow at ProPublica, where she investigated Mississippi’s failure to get defendants timely mental health evaluations and Connecticut’s flawed domestic violence laws, resulting in statewide reforms. She is a Livingston finalist and a Deadline Club Award winner.
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Mississippians on Medicaid lose coverage a mere 60 days after childbirth. “When women don’t have that coverage, what happens is they die,” says one expert.
“What the hell is happening? I feel like we are living on another planet. I don’t recognize anyone anymore.”
Those accused of crimes in Mississippi spent years in jail awaiting the most basic kind of psychiatric evaluations.
A bill before the governor aims to limit the harm caused when victims are arrested along with their abusers.
People in the state took a chance that I would resist stereotypes and report an important truth about the crisis in mental health resources.
Tyler Haire was locked up at 16. A Mississippi judge ordered that he undergo a mental exam. What happened next is a statewide scandal.
A national recession. Years of state budgets cuts. It’s no surprise requests mental health resources for prisoners are routinely rejected.
For years, Connecticut has been plagued by the problem of “dual arrests” in domestic violence cases, with innocent victims sometimes swept up in the police response.
The state’s rate of dual arrests — where both parties in a violent dispute wind up arrested — is nearly 10 times the national average.
Obama has accelerated clemency to low-level drug offenders, but a study on pardons due in 2015 won’t be released until the fall of 2017.
Donald Trump has bashed “puppets” who court the Koch brothers. A Kansas official on his shortlist for U.S. attorney general shot pheasant and clay pigeons with one of their lobbyists.
Courts are scrambling to rule on state election laws in time for the elections being held later this year. We’re keeping track of their decisions.
Police in New York pursue civil cases against homes and businesses despite concerns about fairness and in the face of lawsuits.
One-third of voters took advantage of early voting options in 2012. But does so-called convenience voting increase turnout overall and minority turnout in particular?
Emergency managers in Louisiana turned to the Red Cross when record floods swept the state in March, but many say they received little help.
Clinton has been in the public eye for four decades — and there have been investigative stories about her for nearly as long.