Sarah Smith

Reporter

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.

Mississippi Takes Steps to End Damning Delays in Evaluating Criminal Defendants

Those accused of crimes in Mississippi spent years in jail awaiting the most basic kind of psychiatric evaluations.

Connecticut Set to End “Dual Arrests” in Domestic Violence Cases

A bill before the governor aims to limit the harm caused when victims are arrested along with their abusers.

Taking Care to Get a Mississippi Scandal Right

People in the state took a chance that I would resist stereotypes and report an important truth about the crisis in mental health resources.

‘What Are We Going to Do About Tyler?’

Tyler Haire was locked up at 16. A Mississippi judge ordered that he undergo a mental exam. What happened next is a statewide scandal.

Doing Less With Less: Mental Health Care in Mississippi

A national recession. Years of state budgets cuts. It’s no surprise requests mental health resources for prisoners are routinely rejected.

Connecticut Lawmaker to Consider Legislation to Improve Domestic Violence Enforcement

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.

In Connecticut, Calling for Help Carries Risks for Victims of Domestic Violence

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 Picks Up the Pace on Commutations, But Pardon Changes Still in Limbo

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.

Meet the Candidate For Attorney General Who’s Hunted Quail with Corporate Donors

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.

2016 Election Lawsuit Tracker: The New Election Laws and the Suits Challenging Them

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.

After Mayor Pledges ‘Due Process,’ NYPD Renews Aggressive Nuisance Abatement Enforcement

Police in New York pursue civil cases against homes and businesses despite concerns about fairness and in the face of lawsuits.

Which Voters Show Up When States Allow Early Voting?

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?

After Louisiana Flooding, the Red Cross Draws a Deluge of Complaints

Emergency managers in Louisiana turned to the Red Cross when record floods swept the state in March, but many say they received little help.

The Best Reporting on Hillary Clinton Over the Years

Clinton has been in the public eye for four decades — and there have been investigative stories about her for nearly as long.

The Best Reporting on Mike Pence Through the Years

Through accountability stories and other in-depth reports, we took a look back at the career of the Indiana governor who Donald Trump has picked as his running mate.

The Absolute Best, Most Terrific Reporting on Trump University

Here are the stories on Trump U. that you should read.

Congressman to Red Cross: ‘How Do You Get Lost Going to a Disaster Area?’

Rep. Bennie Thompson wants answers about the Red Cross’ performance.

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