Susan Ferriss

Susan Ferriss is a reporter with wide experience at home and abroad. She has investigated a range of issues, from military toxic waste and real-estate fraud to police corruption and international drug trafficking. She covered California state government and politics for several years, and was a prize-winning foreign correspondent in Latin America, where her reports included stories on child labor, child migration and transnational gangs.

Recent posts

Federal Complaint Challenges Texas Town’s New Ban on Housing any Border Kids


Civil rights groups filed a federal complaint Tuesday challenging a Texas city’s ban on providing housing to “refugees” or foreigners such as the Central American children who’ve been turning themselves in at the border. Continue Reading →

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States Urged to Embrace Alternatives to School Discipline Criminalizing Kids

The Council of State Governments Justice Center's School Discipline Consensus Report.

A prominent state lawmakers’ advisory group issued a major report Tuesday warning of the “school to prison” pipeline and offering multiple alternatives to harsh school discipline and police crackdowns on students. Continue Reading →

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North Carolina Foster Teen Languishes in Adult Jail for School Incident

Selina Garcia, 17, was entered into North Carolina's adult legal system, despite still being a minor in the state's social services system. Courtesy of Selina Garcia

Did a foster-care teen need to be arrested by school police this month for alleged battery on a school bus? And then jailed for more than two weeks with adults long after a judge ordered her released?

The questions swirling around Selina Garcia, 17, of Raleigh, N.C. are part of a broader national debate over treatment of foster kids and the role of school police. Continue Reading →

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Nation’s Largest School Police Force, in L.A., Will Stop Ticketing Kids 12 and Younger


Responding to demand for reforms, the nation’s largest school police force — in Los Angeles — will stop issuing tickets to students 12-years-old or younger for minor infractions allegedly committed on or near campuses during school hours. A memo this month to officers from Los Angeles Unified School Police Department Chief Steven Zipperman outlined the new policy, which goes into effect in December. The announcement comes in the wake of community demands for the school district to “decriminalize” minor school disciplinary matters and use more discretion when involving law enforcement personnel. Continue Reading →

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