Jodi S. Cohen,

Jodi S. Cohen

Chicago, IL, United States

Contact Jodi

Discover and connect with journalists and influencers around the world, save time on email research, monitor the news, and more.

Start free trial

  • Unknown
  • ProPublica
  • GIJN

Past articles by Jodi:

A teen was ticketed at school for a theft she says didn’t happen. Years later, she’s still fighting.

From the moment Amara Harris was accused of stealing another student’s AirPods at Naperville North High School, she has insisted that it was a mix-up, not a theft. → Read More

Illinois will stop helping cities collect some school ticket debt from students

Illinois’ top financial official has banned local governments from using a state program to collect debt from students who have been ticketed for truancy, eliminating a burden for families struggling to pay steep fines. → Read More

Illinois schools urged to stop ticketing bad students

Schools across the state were evading laws designed to prohibit the fining of students. → Read More

Illinois students punished with costly tickets for misbehavior

Across Illinois, police are ticketing thousands of students a year for in-school adolescent behavior once handled only by the principal’s office — for littering, for making loud noises, for using offensive words or gestures, for breaking a soap dish in the bathroom. → Read More

Has Your Family Paid Fees or Fines to a Juvenile Justice System? —

Has your family faced financial hardship as a result of a delinquency case? We’d like to hear from you. → Read More

Are You Going to School During the Pandemic? Or Working There? —

ProPublica is covering school, college and university reopenings during COVID-19, and we need your help. Tell us about safety, academics, tuition and access to learning. → Read More

Judge Won’t Free Michigan Teenager Sent to Juvenile Detention After Not Doing Online Schoolwork —

At a hearing Monday, Judge Mary Ellen Brennan denied a motion to release a 15-year-old from a juvenile facility. “I think you are exactly where you are supposed to be,” Brennan said. “You are blooming there, but there is more work to be done.” → Read More

Thousands Demand That Michigan #FreeGrace After the Teenager Was Incarcerated for Not Doing Her Schoolwork —

After a ProPublica investigation, public officials are pushing for the release of a Black 15-year-old sent to juvenile detention after a judge ruled that not doing her online schoolwork violated her probation. A petition has thousands of signatures. → Read More

A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention. —

A 15-year-old in Michigan was incarcerated during the coronavirus pandemic after a judge ruled that not completing her schoolwork violated her probation. “It just doesn’t make any sense,” said the girl’s mother. → Read More

Schools Aren’t Supposed to Forcibly Restrain Children as Punishment. In Illinois, It Happened Repeatedly. —

As Illinois moves to restrict the use of physical restraint in schools, records show the practice was often misused, leaving students and staff injured. → Read More

How We Reported This Story —

We created the first-ever database of thousands of incidents of restraint and seclusion in Illinois. → Read More

“None of the Children at the School Are Safe” —

One school. 21 abuse investigations. And the struggle to stop relying on seclusion and restraint. → Read More

Illinois Will Allow Prone, Supine Restraints on Children While Schools Learn to Phase Them Out —

The changes to a ban on restraints came after some schools said they could no longer serve children. → Read More

Illinois to Take Emergency Action to Halt Isolated Timeouts in Schools —

Gov. J.B. Pritzker called the practice of secluding children “appalling” and said he will work with legislators to end it. → Read More

The Quiet Rooms

Children are being locked away, alone and terrified, in schools across Illinois. Often, it’s against the law. → Read More

How We Reported This Story —

We created the first-ever database of thousands of incidents of seclusion in Illinois. → Read More

How We Got the Story About Parents Transferring Guardianship of Their Kids to Win Financial Aid They Wouldn’t Otherwise Qualify For —

A tip, and then lots of work — including looking through nearly 2,000 files — over a very short period of time. → Read More

Illinois Lawmakers Call Hearing to “Demand Answers” and Find Ways to Close a Loophole in College Financial Aid Scandal —

Legislators said parents who turn over guardianship of their children to get financial aid engaged in a “manipulative practice.” They’re exploring whether they can subpoena parents to testify. → Read More

Parents Are Giving Up Custody of Their Kids to Get Need-Based College Financial Aid —

First, parents turn over guardianship of their teenagers to a friend or relative. Then the student declares financial independence to qualify for tuition aid and scholarships. → Read More

Immigrant Children Sent to Chicago Shelters Are Traumatized and Sick, in Some Instances With Chicken Pox or Tuberculosis —

Hundreds of children are being detained in shelters run by Heartland Human Care Services, which says it has made changes since allegations that children were neglected and mistreated. → Read More