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

Civil Rights Groups Sue For Immediate Release Of Illinois Inmates At Risk From COVID-19

The lawsuit comes after one prisoner died from the disease and several others are hospitalized, and on ventilators.

WBEZ News

One Dead And A Dozen Hospitalized With COVID-19 From Illinois’ Stateville Prison

Several of the hospitalized men are on ventilators and another 77 men at Stateville are symptomatic.

WBEZ News

Sheriff Tom Dart Attacks Gov. Pritzker For Refusing New Inmates In State Prisons

Dart says the governor’s decision Thursday makes his job of containing COVID-19 at the jail more difficult: "That’s every man for himself."

WBEZ News

Illinois Prisons Are Refusing New Prisoners As COVID-19 Spreads

An executive order halting admissions comes as 12 confirmed COVID-19 cases are tied to the Department of Corrections.

WBEZ News

6 COVID-19 Cases Have Been Confirmed By The Illinois Prisons Department

The cases include three prisoners and three staff members. Experts say COVID-19 can spread especially quickly in crowded facilities.

WBEZ News

Gov. Pritzker Calls On Retired Nurses, Doctors To Join The Fight Against COVID-19

“We’re in the middle of a battle, and we need reinforcements,” Pritkzer said on Saturday as he issued a “call to action.”

WBEZ News

Illinois Prisons Will Receive Hygiene Supplies Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

The news comes after staff and prisoners said they did not have enough soap or cleaning supplies to protect against the virus.

WBEZ News

Do Illinois Prisons Have Enough Soap And Cleaning Supplies?

Despite promises from state officials, inmates say they aren’t getting soap or cleaning supplies amid increasing anxiety over COVID-19.

WBEZ News

Illinois Prisons Halt Visits To Protect Against COVID-19, Advocates Call For Release Of Elderly Prisoners

Corrections Department says it will increase access to free phone calls and video visits.

WBEZ News

Watchdog: A Chicago Program Meant To Help Juveniles May Instead “Retraumatize” Them

A new report questions the wisdom of the city's $5 million-per-year investment, saying the youth program lacks transparency and accountability.

WBEZ News

Prisoners In Illinois Will No Longer Have To Pay To See A Doctor

Illinois prisoners have had to pay a $5 copay, but that'll change in 2020.

WBEZ News

IL Supreme Court: Prison Medical Settlements Are Public Records

The Illinois Supreme Court decision could have important implications for anyone looking for information about medical care behind bars.

WBEZ News

Illinois Officials: Don’t Deny Prisoners Surgery Under 'One Good Eye' Policy

After a WBEZ investigation into the so-called “one good eye” policy, officials say prisoners will get surgery if a doctor recommends it.

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.

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