A government contractor cleared out a Phoenix office where it has detained immigrant children, some overnight, after a Reveal investigation.
Ziva Branstetter is a senior editor for Reveal, overseeing coverage of immigration and the workplace. She serves on the board of Investigative Reporters and Editors and is a staunch advocate for transparency in government, serving as a plaintiff in numerous open-records lawsuits. She was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in local reporting for an investigation of a botched execution – one of four she witnessed as a journalist in Oklahoma. Branstetter came to Reveal from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she was the first editor in chief of The Frontier, an investigative newsroom she helped launch. Previously, she led the investigations and enterprise team at the Tulsa World. Work she has managed and reported led to indictments, new laws, audits, the release of prisoners and the end to a practice in which police officers paid supervisors to retire early. A two-year investigation by Branstetter and her staff resulted in the indictment and resignation of a seven-term sheriff and a massive overhaul of the sheriff’s office. She and her staff exposed civil rights abuses of inmates who died and were injured in Tulsa’s jail. Branstetter also covered Oklahoma’s man-made earthquake epidemic, several deadly tornadoes and the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building. For Reveal, she has written about Oklahoma's female incarceration rate, which has been the highest nationally for more than two decades. She is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.
Neighbors first saw immigrant children being ushered into the vacant Phoenix office building on June 4.
The contractor, MVM Inc., has claimed publicly that it does not operate “shelters or any other type of housing” for children.
“Not one penny of taxpayer money should go to companies that profit by taking shortcuts on worker safety,” says Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
With so much tax money at stake, Reveal wants to know how much the government already spent on the border. Customs and Border Protection won’t say.
A federal suit claims an Oklahoma company extorts thousands of people too poor to pay their court debts, without hearings required by law.
With so much taxpayer money at stake and few details about how it would be used, we wanted to know how much the government had already spent.
“All we’re doing is keeping those beds in cells warm for their kids,” says the state prison director. These women “need help. They don’t need prison.”
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