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How Many of Your State’s Lawmakers Are Women? If You Live in the Southeast, It Could Be Just 1 in 5.

A record number of women were elected to statehouses last year. But in the Southeast, where some legislatures are more than 80% male, representation is lagging as lawmakers pass bills that most impact women, like near-total abortion bans.

Reporting From the South

ProPublica’s seven-person reporting unit, based in Atlanta, covers North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. The region plays a pivotal role in national issues including political representation, racial equity and environmental justice.

When the Coast Guard Intercepts Unaccompanied Kids

A Haitian boy arrived on Florida’s maritime border. His next five days detained at sea illuminate the crisis facing children traveling to the U.S. alone and the crews forced to send them back.

5 Takeaways From ProPublica’s Investigation of Coast Guard Detentions at Sea

Since the summer of 2021, the Coast Guard has detained surging numbers of people, including unaccompanied kids. Key findings from our investigation reveal the hidden world of immigration enforcement at sea, a border where different rules apply.

Emails Reveal How a Hospital Bowed to Political Pressure to Stop Treating Trans Teens

The Medical University of South Carolina initially said it wouldn’t be affected by a law banning use of state funds for treatment “furthering the gender transition” of children under 16. Months later, it cut off that care to all trans minors.

Local Reporting Network Partners

ProPublica is supporting local and regional newsrooms as they work on important investigative projects affecting their communities. Some of our past and present partners in the region:

MLK50: Justice Through Journalism
Memphis, Tennessee
Mountain State Spotlight
West Virginia
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
Tupelo, Mississippi
Sun Herald
Biloxi, Mississippi
AL.com
Birmingham, Alabama
The Palm Beach Post
Palm Beach, Florida
Miami Herald
Miami, Florida
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Richmond, Virginia

Lawmakers Could Limit When County Officials in Mississippi Can Jail People Awaiting Psychiatric Treatment

The legislation follows reporting by Mississippi Today and ProPublica showing that hundreds of people in the state are jailed every year while awaiting court-ordered treatment simply because public mental health facilities are full or too far away.

Their States Banned Abortion. Doctors Now Say They Can't Give Women Potential Lifesaving Care.

In Tennessee and other states that banned abortion, doctors are left to debate high-risk pregnancy cases with their colleagues. ProPublica takes an exclusive look inside those discussions.

No Questions, Multiple Denials: This Mississippi Court Appoints Lawyers for Just 1 in 5 Defendants Before Indictment

Mississippi has long been known as one of the worst states for providing a lawyer to any defendant who can’t afford one. In one rural county, most defendants in a lower court went without any lawyer before their cases were sent to a grand jury.

Task Force to Consider “Restorative Justice” for Black Families Uprooted by Virginia University’s Expansion

Spurred by our “Uprooted” series, a task force created by the city of Newport News and Christopher Newport University will reexamine decades of city and university records shedding light on a Black neighborhood’s destruction.

How Georgia’s Small Power Companies Endanger Their Most Vulnerable Customers

The state’s small electricity providers aren’t required to delay disconnecting seriously ill customers who depend on medical devices, putting lives at risk.

When Families Need Housing, Georgia Will Pay for Foster Care Rather Than Provide Assistance

In more than 700 cases over five years, Georgia reported inadequate housing as the sole reason for taking a child into foster care, a WABE and ProPublica analysis found. Advocates say it would be cheaper to help families get housing.

5 Takeaways From Our Investigation Into How Mississippi Counties Jail People for Mental Illness

We’ve been reporting on the state’s civil commitment process in partnership with Mississippi Today. These are the most important findings.

When Alabama Police Kill, Surviving Family Can Fight Years to See Bodycam Footage. There’s No Guarantee They Will.

Alabama is among the most restrictive states for disclosing body-camera footage when police kill loved ones. Surviving family members often must go to court to get access to the video, and even if successful, they usually can’t share it publicly.

The University Uprooted a Black Neighborhood. Then Its Policies Reduced the Black Presence on Campus.

Black enrollment at Virginia’s Christopher Newport University fell by more than half under longtime president Paul Trible, a former Republican senator who wanted to “offer a private school experience.” By 2021, only 2.4% of full-time professors were Black.

Mayors Are Presiding Over Their Town Courts Despite Guidance Saying They Shouldn’t. A Lawmaker Calls for Reform.

We found more than a dozen places in Louisiana where the mayor sat on the bench of a court that pulled in a sizable share of the town’s revenue. The state says this arrangement could be unfair to defendants.

Knoxville’s Juvenile Detention Center Says Hundreds of Seclusions Were “Voluntary.” Some Kids Don’t See It That Way.

Tennessee says the Richard L. Bean Juvenile Service Center is improving when it comes to illegally secluding kids alone in cells. The facility says its lockups comply with the law, but new reporting suggests otherwise.

“Uprooted” Explores How University Expansion and Eminent Domain Led to Black Land Loss

Watch this examination of a Black community’s decadeslong battle to hold onto their land as city officials wielded eminent domain.

Jailed for Their Own Safety, 14 Mississippians Died Awaiting Mental Health Treatment

Local officials often say they have no choice but to jail people awaiting treatment for mental illness and substance abuse — even if they’re not charged with a crime. But some people have died in the system that's supposed to protect them.

West Virginians Could Get Stuck Cleaning Up the Coal Industry’s Messes

The state’s program for reclaiming abandoned coal mines has long been plagued with problems, but state and federal officials have done little to prepare for this reckoning.

Louisiana Sheriff’s Department Settles Two Use-of-Force Cases, Including One in Which an Autistic Teen Died

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office will pay part of a $1.25 million settlement in the case of Eric Parsa and an undisclosed sum to the family of Tre’mall McGee.

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    Post-Roe America

    Their States Banned Abortion. Doctors Now Say They Can't Give Women Potential Lifesaving Care.

    In Tennessee and other states that banned abortion, doctors are left to debate high-risk pregnancy cases with their colleagues. ProPublica takes an exclusive look inside those discussions.

    America’s Dairyland

    How a Fire on a Dairy Farm Led Us to More Than a Year’s Worth of Stories About Immigrant Dairy Workers

    ProPublica reporter Melissa Sanchez reflects on what led her to investigate the many dangers and inequities faced by the immigrant workers without whom America’s dairy farms wouldn’t function.

    Republicans Hatched a Secret Assault on the Voting Rights Act in Washington State

    After he helped create the state’s voting maps, a redistricting commissioner quietly worked with national Republican figures to bring a lawsuit against his own work.

    Committed to Jail

    Lawmakers Could Limit When County Officials in Mississippi Can Jail People Awaiting Psychiatric Treatment

    The legislation follows reporting by Mississippi Today and ProPublica showing that hundreds of people in the state are jailed every year while awaiting court-ordered treatment simply because public mental health facilities are full or too far away.

    Local Reporting Network

    What’s a Pig Butchering Scam? Here’s How to Avoid Falling Victim to One.

    Thousands have lost huge sums after being lured into fraudulent online investment schemes by seemingly attractive strangers who strike up online conversations with them. Here’s a guide to spotting the telltale signs.