The Miami Herald's "Fight Club" series, which documented widespread abuses in Florida's juvenile justice system, is the winner of the 2017 Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism.
The series, reported by the Herald's Carol Marbin Miller and Audra D.S. Burch, examined 10 years of juvenile justice records detailing brutality, sexual exploitation, medical neglect and administrative incompetence. Reporters also uncovered a culture in which detainees are encouraged to physically attack their peers, sometimes in exchange for snacks from vending machines. This phenomenon is called "honey bunning."
The Herald's investigation was sparked by the plight of 17-year-old Elord Revolte, who was beaten to death at the Miami juvenile detention center. Marbin Miller and Burch, the latter of whom currently works at the New York Times, also examined 11 other questionable deaths at juvenile facilities since 2000.
Herald visual journalist Emily Michot provided video and photos for the project.
The series received funding support from the University of Southern California Center for Health Journalism’s National Fellowship, in conjunction with the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
The $20,000 Bingham Prize will be presented on May 3, 2018, at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.
Marbin Miller and Burch won the Bingham Prize three years earlier for their 2014 "Innocents Lost" series, which examined the deaths of hundreds of children in Florida over a six-year period after they or their families had come to the attention of the child welfare system.