Heather Ann Thompson

Thompson works around prison system denial of access to information on Lee prison riot

an In The Media Reference

"Amid nationwide strike, media access to prisons is limited" - Columbia Journalism Review. 9/6/2018.

Lack of public information and resultant media coverage of a 2018 deadly brawl at Lee Correctional Facility in South Carolina is of concern to ISR's Heather Ann Thompson, who in 2016 won a Pulitzer Prize for her history of the Attica prison uprising. In the Lee case, Thompson has developed a number of techniques to collect information that is not forthcoming from prison officials or via FOIAs, including contact with prisoners over contraband cell phones and with family members over social media. But she notes that even with these tools, it can be challenging and time consuming to uncover what is going on inside and the reasons behind and results of prison revolts. Thompson says that protecting the rights of imprisoned Americans to speak to public is a "moral imperative."

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