Shannon Heffernan | WBEZ
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Shannon Heffernan

Shannon Heffernan

Reporter

Shannon is a criminal justice reporter. She's also reported on mental health, poverty, labor and climate change. 

Her reporting has earned her a National Murrow Award for best writing and a PRINDI for best writing, as well as awards from the Illinois AP and Chicago Headline Club. 

Shannon also writes short fictional stories and has been published Hobart, The Indiana Review and The Columbia Review, where she won the 2016 prize for fiction.

She co-founded of Life of the Law, a podcast and multimedia website that tells surprising stories about all things legal.

Recent Stories

WBEZ News

Illinois Missing Out On Federal Money To Help Crime Victims

Illinois is failing to take full advantage of federal dollars, as Chicago and the state scramble for resources to treat trauma.

WBEZ News

3 Illinois Prison Guards Indicted For Assault That Resulted In Prisoner’s Death

Guards are accused of beating Western Illinois Correctional Center prisoner Larry Earvin, who later died, and then trying to cover it up.

WBEZ News

For Some Illinois Prisoners, One Good Eye Is Enough

Illinois prisoners say they were denied eye surgery because they still had one functioning eye.

WBEZ News

Lightfoot Wants To Double Mental Health Investments, But Calls To Reopen Clinics Continue

The mental health plan outlined in the mayor's proposed budget does not reopen clinics closed in 2012 under then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

WBEZ News

Chicago Wants Witnesses To Step Up, But City Offers Little Support

Advocates say it’s difficult for witnesses to step forward if they don’t trust they will be safe.

WBEZ News

Retired Chicago Detective, Accused Of Multiple Frame-Ups, Sued Again

Geraldo Iglesias spent 16 years in prison. His conviction was overturned, and now he is suing former Det. Reynaldo Guevara for framing him.

WBEZ News

Pritzker Vows Support For Prison Death Transparency, Despite Previous Opposition

Pritzker said opposition to a prison death transparency bill last session was due to “logistical” concerns.

WBEZ News

Juror Research Leads To Mistrial In $13 Million Police Shooting Lawsuit

A juror researched legal terms on the internet, leading to a mistrial during deliberations after two weeks of testimony.

WBEZ News

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans Keeps His Job

Chief judge for 18 years, Evans wins another term.

WBEZ News

Evans Faces Challenge Thursday For Position As Cook County Chief Judge

Chief Judge Timothy Evans will face Lorna Propes. Propes promised circuit judges that if they elect her she’ll protect them from criticism.

WBEZ News

Gov. Pritzker Reviewing How IL Prisons Investigate Inmate Deaths

An investigation found prison staff ignored warning signs connected to three three men who died three days in a row.

WBEZ News

Case Highlights Perils Of Calling Police To Help With Mental Health Crisis

Pamela Anderson called 911 for help getting her son to a hospital. Instead a police officer shot him.

WBEZ News

Trial Begins: Mother Called 911 For Help, Police Fatally Shot Her Son

Pamela Anderson said she called for help getting her son, who had schizophrenia, to the hospital. But when police arrived, they shot him.

WBEZ News

Mysterious Prison Deaths In Illinois Linked To ‘Unknown Substance,’ Falsified Documents

Three men died over three days at Menard prison. Reports obtained by WBEZ show staff ignored warning signs and falsified documents.

WBEZ News

Public Defender: City’s Gun Data Skews Facts And Violates Privacy Rights

The county public defender wants the city to take down the dashboard. It’s the latest development in a fight over bail reform and violence.

WBEZ News

Here’s What You Need To Know About The Ongoing Bail Debate In Chicago

It’s about whether those caught illegally carrying a gun should be held until trial or allowed to go home. Get caught up with this Q and A.

WBEZ Updates

Community Mourns Two Moms Killed On Corner Patrolled By 'Mothers Against Senseless Killings'

Chantell Grant used to bring her kids to Mothers Against Senseless Killings activities and Andrea Stoudemire had a reputation for being fiercely protective of women in the neighborhood. Both of them were shot and killed last week.

WBEZ News

Lightfoot Ordinance Not Enough To Allow Her To Fulfill Campaign Promise

An ordinance proposed last week by Lightfoot would remove only one of several barriers to her promise to release report on police shooting.

WBEZ News

Lightfoot Proposes Ordinance To Release Previously Confidential Reports

Lightfoot's proposed ordinance would allow the release of some inspector general reports.

WBEZ News

Small Change In Illinois Prisons A Big Deal For Some New Moms Behind Bars

For a mother who gave birth inside an Illinois prison, every chance to bond with her son was important.

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