2019 Public Service (Smaller Staff) Winner

Ryan McKinnon and Josh Salman | Sarasota Herald-Tribune

“Wasted Minds”

About the Entry

Ryan McKinnon and Josh Salman crossed the state of Florida visiting prisons, interviewing more than 100 sources, and filing relentless records requests to investigate the poor quality and institutionalized racism of education behind bars.

Comments from the Judges

“The team on this series did an incredible job creating a clear view of the disparities in the prison education system in Florida…using data to connect education with violence in prison, race and recidivism. It’s one thing to say inmates receive no meaningful education opportunities, but to demonstrate over and over again with data conveys a much more powerful message.”

“This remarkable series shines a light on people often forgotten in the education system: people who are incarcerated but still have a moral right, if not legal right, to an education. The reporting is top-notch, both in terms of data and personal interview with inmates….Overall, very impressive and important work.​”