Carrie Johnson

Carrie Johnson covers the Justice Department for NPR.

She has spent the last decade and a half chronicling legal affairs in the nation's capital and beyond. Johnson worked at the Washington Post from 2000 to 2010, when she closely observed the FBI, the Justice Department and criminal trials of the former leaders of Enron, HealthSouth and Tyco. Earlier in her career, she wrote about courts for the weekly publication Legal Times.

Johnson's work has won awards from the Society for Professional Journalists and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. She has been a finalist for the Loeb award for financial journalism and for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news for team coverage of the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas.

Johnson is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Benedictine University in Illinois. She lives in Washington but always is planning her next exotic trip.

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3:07am

Thu August 21, 2014
Around the Nation

Holder Seeks To Soothe Nerves During Visit To Ferguson

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 11:07 am

Attorney General Eric Holder participates in a closed-door meeting Wednesday with students at St. Louis Community College, Florissant Valley.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

The nation's top law enforcement officer traveled to Ferguson, Mo., on Wednesday to wrap his arms around a community in pain.

Attorney General Eric Holder hugged community leaders, a highway patrol captain and the mother of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old killed by a police officer earlier this month.

From the moment he walked into a soul food restaurant in Ferguson, the attorney general found friends and began getting reports on the community's mood after days of protests and sporadic violence.

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9:30am

Wed August 20, 2014
Law

Rights Of Protesters, Media Misunderstood In Ferguson

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 11:05 am

Law enforcement officials move crowds gathering in Ferguson, Mo. toward the perimeter of the designated marching area after clashes erupted on August 19, 2014.
Brakkton Booker NPR

In the days since a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., people have been on the streets to register their outrage.

But the police response to those protests has stoked nearly as much anger as the shooting did.

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2:23pm

Wed August 13, 2014
Politics

Government Watchdogs Complain Of Closed Doors Set Up By White House

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 7:14 pm

Inspectors general say they want better access to federal documents and electronic databases.
Andrey Popov iStockphoto

Not all the watchdogs in Washington work outside the government. Some are paid officials of the government. Lately, some of these inside watchdogs have started to bark. And it's not a bark of joy.

Inspectors general, as they're called, are supposed to uncover government fraud. But they say all too often, they're getting stonewalled instead. The IGs want better access to information from the Obama administration--and they're winning support from members of Congress.

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3:08am

Wed August 6, 2014
Politics

After Discrimination Finding, Jury's Out On Memphis Juvenile Courts

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 8:55 am

Juvenile wing of the Orleans Parish Prison in Louisiana. In Memphis, the juvenile court system was criticized for inadequate defense of their clients and treating minority children more harshly.
Richard Ross Juvenile In Justice

For people connected to the Memphis juvenile courts, April 2012 is unforgettable. That's when federal investigators determined that the Shelby County juvenile court system discriminated against African-American defendants.

The Justice Department said the system punished black children more harshly than whites. In the most incendiary finding, investigators said the court detained black children and sent them to be tried in the adult system twice as often as whites.

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3:11pm

Fri June 6, 2014
Law

Prison Rape Law A Decade Old, But Most States Not In Compliance

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 5:29 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says following federal standards for the Prison Rape Elimination Act is too burdensome for states.
Tom Pennington MCT/Landov

The clock is ticking on a decade-long effort to prevent sexual violence inside American prisons. In a recent survey, the vast majority of states said they will try to comply with federal rules. But several others, led by Texas, have protested to the Justice Department.

Jan Lastocy served 15 months in a Michigan prison for attempted embezzlement — her first brush with the law. The assaults began when a new corrections officer showed up at the warehouse where she had been assigned to work as a secretary.

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