Charissa Koh

Charissa is a WORLD reporter who often writes about poverty fighting and prison reform, including profiling ministries in the annual Hope Awards for Effective Compassion competition. She is also a part of WORLD's investigative unit, the Caleb Team. Charissa resides with her husband, Josh, in Austin, Texas. Follow her on Twitter @CharissaKoh.

Associated Press/Photo by Elaine Thompson (file)

Congress restores college funding for inmates

Compassion | Prison reform advocates celebrate the change
by Charissa Koh
Posted 1/20/21, 06:00 pm

Congress’ most recent coronavirus stimulus legislation accomplished one of criminal justice reform advocates’ major goals: restoring Pell Grants to prisoners.

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Associated Press/Photo by John Locher (file)

As welfare booms during pandemic, so do fraud and waste

Compassion | Scholars suggest changes to make sure money goes where it’s needed most
by Charissa Koh
Posted 1/20/21, 01:39 pm

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, California has made unemployment payments to more than 20,000 ineligible prisoners, with $42 million going to inmates in other states. In December, the state Employment Development Department estimated fraud consumed $4 billion of the state’s pandemic relief money.

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Associated Press/Photo by Jeff Roberson (file)

Bill reduces military equipment available to police

Police | Some question the wisdom of the change as civil unrest escalates
by Charissa Koh
Posted 1/13/21, 05:10 pm

Congress’ new defense spending bill shrank a controversial program that provides military weapons to police departments. On Jan. 1, Congress overrode President Donald Trump’s veto to pass the $731 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill, which funds troop levels and purchases of military equipment, included new restrictions on the Defense Department’s 1033 program, which drew criticism during this past summer’s protests against police brutality.

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