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 Sue Ogrocki (file)

Biden takes one small step for prison reform

Compassion | Some see missed opportunities in private partnerships
by Charissa Koh
Posted 2/10/21, 01:52 pm

As cameras rolled at the White House on Jan. 26, President Joe Biden signed an executive order against the use of private prisons, touting his commitment to racial equity. He said phasing out federal contracts with private prison companies was a first step toward reducing federal incarceration levels and improving prisoners’ services and programs.

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AP Photo/Lisa Billings

Lisa Miller, mother in kidnapping case, in U.S. custody

Criminal Justice | The mother who fled to Nicaragua in a high-profile case over same-sex custody turned herself in to U.S. authorities last month
by Charissa Koh
Posted 2/05/21, 07:08 pm

After more than a decade in hiding, Lisa Miller has turned herself in to U.S. authorities.

Miller, 52, made headlines when she was charged with international kidnapping for fleeing the United States in 2009 with her daughter, Isabella, 7 years old at the time. Miller had previously been locked in a high-profile custody dispute with her former lesbian partner, Janet Jenkins, who also claimed parental rights over Isabella. Miller, the biological mother, feared she would lose custody of her daughter if she remained in the United States.

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Associated Press/Photo by Nam Y. Huh (file)

Police question radical reforms in Illinois

Compassion | The legislature supports drastic changes to suspect’s interactions with courts and officers
by Charissa Koh
Posted 2/03/21, 02:09 pm

A criminal justice bill that awaits the Illinois governor’s signature would make it a Class 3 felony for police to forget to turn on their body cameras. That measure and several others have law enforcement officers worried about making simple errors while protecting the public.

“All these things boiled together are going to make police not want to do their job,” said Dave Dorn, the Barrington, Ill., police chief. “I don’t think this bill is going to do what it’s intending to do.”

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