#MediaMonday – Jimmy Jenkins

Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from KJZZ-FM senior field correspondent Jimmy Jenkins, who’s also a contributor to NPR’s election coverage and criminal justice station collaborations. His work has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here and Now, The Takeaway and NPR Newscasts.  He is the recent recipient Sledgehammer Award Winner presented by the Arizona Press Club.  Jenkins was honored for his ongoing work to shine a light on the happenings inside of Arizona’s prisons.

Jimmy, time to share:

I’m originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, where I received a B.S. in criminology at Indiana State University. I first thought I wanted to work in Criminal Justice, but then decided I would try and pursue a career chronicling this challenging field. I received a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., where I worked for three years at the NPR/PBS station. I then moved to Phoenix for a job at KJZZ as a senior producer. After two years, I became a senior field correspondent. My editors have allowed me to continue my focus on criminal justice issues, specifically conditions in state prisons and prison health care. I am also a regular contributor to NPR’s Criminal Justice Collaborative. I’ve reported on Tasers, body cameras, use of force, jail privatization, prison health care, the criminal contempt trial of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and the impact of COVID-19 on the prisons.

Top Three Stories

The 2017 story “On The Inside: The Chaos Of Arizona Prison Health Care” prompted a federal judge to order an evidentiary hearing which resulted in a $1.4 million fine against the Department of Corrections. https://kjzz.org/content/572976/inside-chaos-arizona-prison-health-care#start

A data analysis I conducted using publicly available reports showed the Department of Corrections is experiencing a years-long surge in incidents of self-harm among inmates: https://kjzz.org/content/1592154/silent-epidemic-self-harm-incidents-surging-arizona-prisons

Recently, my reporting on prison software problems at the Department prompted a bipartisan group of 10 state lawmakers to call for an investigation by the governor: https://kjzz.org/content/1660988/whistleblowers-software-bug-keeping-hundreds-inmates-arizona-prisons-beyond-release

When I’m Not Working

When I’m not working I like to go hiking, kayaking, and golfing. I also enjoy grilling and cooking at home with my partner.

You can follow me on Twitter @JimmyJenkins and follow KJZZ on Twitter at @KJZZPhoenix as well as our website: www.kjzz.org and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kjzzphoenix/ and you can hear our reporting on your radio at 91.5 FM.

I am very grateful to all of our listeners and supporters for making my reporting possible.

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Jenkins

Written by
at May 3, 2021

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