Samantha reports on social justice, criminal justice and the lives of Philadelphians, from the streets, the prisons and the bars.

Latest Stories

Philly’s coronavirus rent-strike experiment has begun. 13 West Philly households are taking part

“We can’t pay this month, let alone May. We made it clear we needed to open up a conversation about rent forgiveness. They did not respond to that request.”

Is 2020 a lost year? Philly had big plans. The pandemic changed them.

What of the plans and goals that were set for 2020 — are they out of reach?

‘This is an apocalyptic moment’: Faith leaders call pandemic a ‘test’ as more Americans turn to prayer

Pastors, rabbis, and imams say they’re seeing record numbers of views; comments sections on Facebook Live have turned into a chorus of ‘amens’; and a new poll from Pew finds a majority of Americans have prayed on the virus.

Protesting in the time of social distancing: Philly demands action by car, bike, text, and tweet

In cities around the world, under similar lockdowns, car caravans have quickly emerged as one means of mobilizing within the strictures of social distancing.

A Philly woman was in prison for life. Villanova students, and one weird coincidence, helped get her out.

Cynthia Alvarado, who had served more than 11 years of a life sentence, was freed March 11. She is now a grandmother, her daughters grown up.

Coronavirus blight, transformed by art: Across Philly, signs of solidarity sprout amid the gloom

The rush of creative energy is coming from all angles: professional artists, shut out of museums and galleries, and families, stranded and stir-crazy at home.

Amid coronavirus threat, Philadelphia will follow New Jersey and New York City in a push to cut the jail population

“There is real progress toward the defense and prosecutors having access to the court even in this pandemic, even with the court closed."

Exes sheltering in place together? Parents withholding visitation? Co-parenting during a pandemic gets messy, fast.

With the courts closed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, lawyers say, there’s little recourse but to work it out if parents can — or wait it out if they can’t.

‘It’s heartbreaking’: Coronavirus puts Philly homeless services in survival mode

Providers across the city have had to overhaul and, in many cases, drastically curtail their programs, struggling with the reality that social distancing just isn’t built into their service models.

Drug users risk overdoses when they’re alone. What does that mean during social distancing?

It's one more complication that the coronavirus pandemic has visited on healthcare workers who are trying to serve vulnerable populations.