Bridge magazine is a recipient of a 2016 Wade H. McCree Jr. Award for the Advancement of Justice, for a report on sexual assaults on young offenders in Michigan’s prison system.
The McCree Award, sponsored by Michigan Press Association Foundation, is given to Michigan journalists who foster public understanding of the legal and judicial system. The two-part package, which ran in April 2015 by senior writer Ron French and Bridge contributor Ted Roelofs, described assault that were part of a lawsuit filed by seven men, who at age 17 or younger, were incarcerated in the state prison system with adults and later said they were raped by other inmates, or by guards.
The second part analyzed state Attorney General Bill Schuette’s legal strategy in the case, and its potential cost to state taxpayers. After the series ran, lawmakers introduced bills to raise the age for incarceration in adult prisons from 17 to 18.
The late Wade H. McCree Jr. was a former federal judge, professor at the University of Michigan Law School and solicitor general under President Jimmy Carter. He was known as an advocate for racial justice and one of the most accomplished African-American jurists of his time.
Other recipients of McCree awards this year include WDIV-TV, for a story on police brutality in Inkster; and Michigan Radio, for reporting on a sexual-assault case at Michigan State University. The Detroit Free Press won an honorable mention.
The McCree award ceremony will be in April in Lansing.