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Why journalists should cover local jails

In this article for The Poynter Institute, Al Tompkins underscores the importance of journalists covering local jails and suggests several coverage angles that journalists can use to convince readers to care more about incarceration at the local level.

Personal Narrative: Jane Doe

Jane Doe was driving and arrived at a traffic checkpoint operated by the Buffalo Police Department. Because she lacked a harness for her children's booster seats, she was assessed eight points on her driver’s license, $446 in fines and $450 for a Driver Responsibility Assessment. During this time, Ms. Doe was a full time student with no income. BTVA refused to accept partial payments or provide a payment plan. Unable to pay, her learner’s permit was suspended. In 2018, she used her tax refund to pay her traffic tickets and reinstate her permit.
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