An eight-part investigative series, “Louisiana Incarcerated: How we built the world’s prison capital,” published in May by The Times-Picayune has been named among the best reporting on the U.S. prison system by Pro Publica, the online, nonprofit, investigative newsroom begun five years ago by Paul Steiger, the former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal.

“Louisiana Incarcerated” examines the how the Bayou State became the national leader in incarceration rate through the lobbying efforts of private, for-profit prisons, harsh sentencing guidelines and inept rehabilitation of prisoners, which leads to a high recidivism rate. The series joins reporting by a wide array of news media spanning the last several years including print stalwarts like The New Yorker, broadcasting juggernaut National Public Radio and digital-only media such as Salon and Huffington Post.

Coincidentally — ironically may be too strong a word — “Louisiana Incarcerated” was published shortly before The Times-Pic’s parent company announced sweeping changes to the paper that included a cut-back to three publishing days per week and mass layoffs of newsroom staff, including some of the reporters who contributed to the prison series.

See Pro Publica’s list — with links to the original reporting — here.

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