2021-2022 Journal of Civic Information Law School Writing Competition Winners Announced
The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida announced today the winners of the 2021-2022 Journal of Civic Information Law School Writing Competition. The honors include $2,000 and $1,000 first and second place cash prizes, respectively, and the opportunity to publish in the Journal of Civic Information.
First place was awarded to “Arizona’s Private Prisons and Their Vast Labor Pool,” by Alyssa M. Petroff, University of Massachusetts School of Law. The manuscript describes how privately run prisons in Arizona hide records regarding prisoner labor exploitation, including 40-hour work weeks at wages as low as 10 cents per hour. According to one reviewer, “I learned a lot from this paper. It shines a light on a particularly troubling practice and does a great job of showing what a mess law/policy is in this area.”
Second place was awarded to “Deadly Details: Journalists’ Access to Government-Held Information on Homicide,” by Amanda N. Marino, Indiana University Maurer School of Law. The paper examined transparency regarding mass shootings and argues for more access to public records regarding homicides to better hold government accountable. According to one of the reviewers, “This paper presents a really nice overview of the policy behind FOI laws as well as some of the Supreme Court’s reasoning about the importance of transparency.”
Law students were invited to submit papers addressing a legal or public policy issue in the field of information access. Preference was given to submissions relevant to current legal and public policy debates. Each manuscript was reviewed by three expert evaluators through a double-blind process. Both papers are eligible to be published, following editing and revision, in the Journal of Civic Information.