Bar News - September 21, 2016
NH Bar Foundation: Grant to Fund Public Radio Series
The NH Bar Foundation is funding a multi-part investigative series by NH Public Radio on New Hampshire’s criminal justice system, focusing on several aspects before, during and after incarceration.
Details on the series by the award-winning statewide news organization, are still being worked out, but NH Public Radio President Betsy Gardella said the grant will enable two reporters at the station to explore a number of topics involving the state’s correctional system through 2017, and may include additional content such as podcasts, audio diaries and more. In its grant proposal, which was approved by the Bar Foundation Board earlier this month, NHPR expects to focus on topics such as the cost and impact of the parole system; the impact of the opioid epidemic on the corrections system; privatization of jail services; and the restoration of voting rights to offenders who have completed their sentences, a legal provision that exists in only two other states.
“The journalism produced with the Bar Foundation’s support will foster dialogue across communities and parts of the justice system that often don’t hear from each other,” Gardella wrote in the grant application. In an interview, she added: “We have two reporters who have a genuine interest in reporting more about these issues – we are very excited to have this opportunity.”
The $28,258 grant is the primary source of funding for the reporting, and originates from the Charles W. Dean Trust Fund, which was established for the purpose of providing prisoners or those accused of crimes “a means of telling their story…”
Gardella said the station is open to working with the Bar Foundation on creating opportunities for members of the legal community to find out more about the reporting project as it takes shape.