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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 Updates

Advocates Warn Budget Cuts Could Devastate Legal System

Legal advocates are warning that expected budget cuts in Cook County could devastate the legal system.

WBEZ News

No Strategy To Review Bail For Thousands In Cook County Jail

Judges have been told to start setting affordable bail, but what does that mean for those already in jail?

WBEZ Updates

When A Murder Goes Unsolved In Chicago

A Chicago nonprofit is helping families navigate life after a relative is murdered-- including when a case goes unsolved.

WBEZ Updates

Communities Seek Official Role In Police Abuse Negotiations

Communities who say they’ve suffered from police violence want an official role in negotiating a court agreement to address police abuse in Chicago.

WBEZ Updates

Cook County Attorneys Ask Judge To Dismiss Bail System Case

Cook County attorneys are asking a judge to dismiss a case over the county’s bail system.

WBEZ News

Why Are There 2 Lawsuits Calling For Federal Oversight Of Chicago Police Reform?

What’s at stake is who will have an official say in defining what police reform will look like.

WBEZ News

CPS Students Will Learn History Of Chicago Police Torture

Starting this year, 8th and 10th graders will learn about how police beat, starved and electrocuted suspects into making false confessions.

WBEZ News

Chicago Police Sergeant Placed On Desk Duty After Shooting

An off-duty sergeant who shot and wounded a young man has been indefinitely relieved of his police powers as an investigation takes place.

WBEZ Updates

Conversations With Police Union Allowed In McDonald Case

A judge has ruled that certain conversations can be used at the trial of a Chicago police officer charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a black teen.

WBEZ Updates

CPD Superintendent Says He Is Not Afraid Of Court Oversight

Police Superintendent Johnson wouldn't directly say if he was supportive of court oversight, but he said it's one of many ways toward reform.

WBEZ News

Disciplinary Hearings In McDonald Case Delayed

The police board is delaying disciplinary proceedings for four officers accused of filing false reports in the Laquan McDonald shooting.

WBEZ News

New Law Requires Bail Review For Some Crimes

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill Friday changing how bail is handled in Illinois, but some advocates say it doesn’t go far enough.

WBEZ News

Mayor Defends CPD Monitor Over Consent Decree

Chicago Police Board President Lori Lightfoot said any agreement without input from outside the mayor’s office won’t have legitimacy.

WBEZ News

New Law To Allow Illinoisans To Use Paid Sick Time For Family Care

Starting in 2017, anyone with paid sick time in Illinois will be able to use that leave to care for an immediate family member.

WBEZ News

Illinois Driver's Ed Courses To Include Instructions For Police Stops

A new Illinois law going into effect in 2017 mandates all drivers ed courses must include instruction on how to behave during a police stop.

WBEZ News

Judge: Medical Providers Don't Have To Give Info On Abortion

An Illinois judge will temporarily allow doctors opposed to abortion to refuse to give abortion referrals.

WBEZ News

Chicago’s Binge-Drinking Capital

A recent study from the CDC found Lake View has some of the highest rates of binge drinking in the country.

WBEZ News

Durbin Takes Legislative Steps To Protect Obama's Dreamers

The veteran senator is sponsoring a bill he hopes will gain traction in January as Trump prepares to move into the White House.

WBEZ News

This Year's Election May Shape Holiday Giving

Giving Tuesday, meant to encourage charitable giving after consumers splurge on products during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, may see a boost this year.

WBEZ News

Remembering A Video That Shook Chicago

An activist, a pastor and a journalist remember a disturbing video that would lead to personal and policy changes across the city.

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