About The Appeal

At The Appeal, we produce original journalism about criminal justice that engages the public and holds officials to account. We focus on the most significant drivers of mass incarceration, which occur at the state and local level. Nearly one in four Americans has a criminal record, and state-level facilities hold 87 percent of America’s incarcerated people. We draw on deep expertise to expose the human impact of our most routine criminal justice practices.


The Appeal

Sarah Leonard

Executive Editor

Ethan Brown

Lead Editor

Cassi Feldman, Aviva Shen

Senior Editors

Malecia Walker

Senior Copy Editor

Ethan Corey

Fact Checker and Researcher

Rebecca Kavanagh

Media Relations Director

Melissa Gira Grant, Aaron Morrison, Debbie Nathan, Josie Duffy Rice

Senior Staff Reporters

Kira Lerner, Raven Rakia

Staff Reporters

Adam H. Johnson

Host of The Appeal Podcast

Josie Duffy Rice, Clint Smith

Co-Hosts of Justice in America Podcast

Shaun King

Contributing Writer

The Appeal Newsletters

Matt Henry


Sarah Lustbader, Vaidya Gullapalli

National Curators

Daniel Nichanian

Political Report Curator