Florida Prisons

Herald journalists win honors for Fight Club series on juvenile justice

Dark secrets of Florida’s juvenile justice system : A Miami Herald investigation

A look at the "fight club" culture inside Florida's juvenile justice system, where staffers sometimes employ harsh takedowns, ignore abuse and offer snacks as bribes for beatdowns — known as "honey-bunning."
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A look at the "fight club" culture inside Florida's juvenile justice system, where staffers sometimes employ harsh takedowns, ignore abuse and offer snacks as bribes for beatdowns — known as "honey-bunning."

Miami Herald journalists Carol Marbin Miller and Audra D.S. Burch have received two prestigious honors for the series “Fight Club: Dark Secrets of Florida Juvenile Justice.”

The John Jay College Center on Media, Crime and Justice announced Tuesday that Fight Club was the winner of the John Jay Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting Award (series category). It is to be presented in February in New York.

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Carol Marbin Miller AL DIAZ MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Separately, Fight Club will receive the inaugural Lucy Morgan Award for Open Government Reporting. The award, from the First Amendment Foundation, is named for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tampa Bay Times reporter known for using public records to expose corruption and reveal conflicts of interest.

Marbin Miller and Burch, the latter now with The New York Times, will be honored Tuesday during a luncheon at the Governors Club in Tallahassee.

Spurred by the beating death of foster child Elord Revolte in the Miami-Dade juvenile lockup in 2015, Fight Club took a comprehensive look at the state’s juvenile justice system.

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Audra D.S. Burch AL DIAZ MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Fight Club examined 10 years of juvenile justice records, documenting widespread brutality, sexual exploitation, medical neglect, administrative incompetence and a culture in which juvenile detainees are encouraged to dispense beatings to their peers, sometimes in exchange for vending machine snacks.

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