The Marshall Project, the Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit media organization covering criminal justice, has hired Shoshana Walter as a new staff writer.
Walter will work with editors and reporters to produce more of The Marshall Project’s signature investigations. Walter brings extensive experience producing hard-hitting and immersive journalism for print, online, film and radio formats — making readers care through compelling narratives.
“We can’t wait to work with Shoshana to produce more of her trademark narrative accountability journalism,” said Susan Chira, editor-in-chief of The Marshall Project. “Her track record of rigorous and empathetic reporting, her long experience with criminal justice issues, and her facility with multiple storytelling forms will help us unearth abuses and deepen understanding of an often-opaque system.”
Walter joins The Marshall Project from Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, where she reported on the armed guard industry and trafficking on marijuana farms. She uncovered how court-mandated treatments for drug addiction turned thousands of people into an unpaid, shadow workforce for some of the country’s largest corporations — work that resulted in investigations and lawsuits in several states, and an ongoing congressional investigation. Walter and her co-author in that effort, Amy Julia Harris, were Pulitzer Prize finalists, and their reporting led to the popular investigative podcast “American Rehab.” Her most recent story, a partnership with The New York Times Magazine, found that thousands of women have been reported to child protective services for taking prescribed medications during pregnancy, and that authorities have taken newborns and placed them in foster care.
“The Marshall Project has a track record of producing impactful, artfully-told journalism on one of the most pressing issues of our time,” Walter said. “I am thrilled to be joining a newsroom that centers marginalized voices and examines the criminal justice system with the urgency it deserves.”
Previously, Walter was a criminal justice reporter at The Bay Citizen, where she chronicled excessive force by police and racial inequities in arrests in the San Francisco area. As a night shift cop reporter at The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida, she reported a narrative series on a deadly after-school fight between two middle schoolers — exposing the failures of the school district, and humanizing the 13-year-old charged as an adult with murder.
Her work has been honored with the Livingston Award for National Reporting, the Investigative Reporters and Editors medal, the Edward R. Murrow award and the Knight Award for Public Service, among others.
She is currently finishing a book about the failures of America’s addiction treatment system, to be published next year by Simon & Schuster.
Walter lives in Oakland, California. Her first day with The Marshall Project will be Oct. 2.