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 Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune (file)

Where do prisoners fit in the line for vaccines?

Compassion | States debate the ethics of giving inmates COVID-19 immunizations before others
by Charissa Koh
Posted 1/13/21, 01:21 pm

Michelle Bailey, 48, was an inmate at Plane State Jail in Dayton, Texas, when the coronavirus pandemic hit. She wasn’t nervous initially. “We’re a locked-up population,” she remembered thinking. “We’re good, unless the guards bring it in to us.”

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Associated Press/Photo by Lynne Sladky (file)

Overdose deaths hit record

Compassion | The plague of synthetic opioids worsened in 2020
by Charissa Koh
Posted 1/06/21, 01:11 pm

In 2020, a record 621 people in San Francisco died of drug overdoses, up from 441 in 2019 and more than three times the number of COVID-19 deaths in the county. Across the country, the coronavirus killed far more people than illegal drugs did, but San Francisco’s plight underscores how the opioid epidemic continued to rage in the shadow of the pandemic.

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Fostering in a pandemic

Compassion | Lockdowns and isolation challenge families in the child welfare system
by Charissa Koh
Posted 1/06/21, 01:06 pm

AUSTIN, Texas—Stacy and Jack Higgins received their first foster placement, a 2-year-old girl and her 5-month old brother, in April 2020, just as the pandemic forced families into lockdown.

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