Cheryl Corley Cheryl Corley is a Chicago-based NPR correspondent who works for the National Desk. She primarily covers criminal justice issues as well as breaking news in the Midwest and across the country.
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Cheryl Corley

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Cheryl Corley at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018. (photo by Allison Shelley)
Allison Shelley/NPR

Cheryl Corley

Correspondent, National Desk, Chicago

Cheryl Corley is a Chicago-based NPR correspondent who works for the National Desk. She primarily covers criminal justice issues as well as breaking news in the Midwest and across the country.

In her role as a criminal justice correspondent, Corley works as part of a collaborative team and has a particular interest on issues and reform efforts that affect women, girls, and juveniles. She's reported on programs that help incarcerated mothers raise babies in prison, on pre-apprenticeships in prison designed to help cut recidivism of women, on the efforts by Illinois officials to rethink the state's juvenile justice system and on the push to revamp the use of solitary confinement in North Dakota prisons.

For more than two decades with NPR, Corley has covered some of the country's most important news stories. She's reported on the political turmoil in Virginia over the governor's office and a blackface photo, the infamous Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida, on mass shootings in Orlando, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; Chicago; and other locations. She's also reported on the election of Chicago's first black female and lesbian mayor, on the campaign and re-election of President Barack Obama, on the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and oil spills along the Gulf Coast, as well as numerous other disasters, and on the funeral of the "queen of soul," Aretha Franklin.

Corley also has served as a fill-in host for NPR shows, including Weekend All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and defunct shows Tell Me More and News and Notes.

Prior to joining NPR, Corley was the news director at Chicago's public radio station, WBEZ, where she supervised an award-winning team of reporters. She also worked as the City Hall reporter covering the administration of the city's first black mayor, Harold Washington, and others that followed. She also has been a frequent panelist on television news-affairs programs in Chicago.

Corley has received awards for her work from a number of organizations including the National Association of Black Journalists, the Associated Press, the Public Radio News Directors Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists. She earned the Community Media Workshop's Studs Terkel Award for excellence in reporting on Chicago's diverse communities and a Herman Kogan Award for reporting on immigration issues.

A Chicago native, Corley graduated cum laude from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and is a former Bradley University trustee. While in Peoria, Corley worked as a reporter and news director for public radio station WCBU and as a television director for the NBC affiliate, WEEK-TV. She is a past President of the Association for Women Journalists in Chicago (AWJ-Chicago).

She is also the co-creator of the Cindy Bandle Young Critics Program. The critics/journalism training program for female high school students was originally collaboration between AWJ-Chicago and the Goodman Theatre. Corley has also served as a board member and president of Community Television Network, an organization that trains Chicago youth in video and multimedia production.

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Story Archive

In early December last year, a video captured part of a shootout and attempted carjacking. A retired firefighter died. Chicago police say one of the four suspects was 15 years old. Chicago Police Department/screenshot by NPR hide caption

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Chicago Police Department/screenshot by NPR

Juveniles Part Of A Huge Increase In Carjackings Across The Country

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Chicago Aims To Deter Juveniles From Participating In Carjackings

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Illinois Poised To Become 1st State To Drop Cash Bail System

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Lisa Montgomery was executed by lethal injection early Wednesday at the federal correctional complex in Terre Haute, Ind. Attorneys for Lisa Montgomery via AP hide caption

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Attorneys for Lisa Montgomery via AP

U.S. Executes Lisa Montgomery, The Only Woman On Federal Death Row

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Execution Date Nears For Only Woman On Federal Death Row

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In New York City, homicides were up nearly 40% over the previous year by Dec. 20, 2020. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the numbers should worry New Yorkers. Bryan Thomas/Getty Images hide caption

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Massive 1-Year Rise In Homicide Rates Collided With The Pandemic In 2020

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Experts Say The Pandemic Coincided With The Largest One-Year Rise In Homicide Rates

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Chicago's Police Department Launches An Intense Outreach Program

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Then challenger Kim Foxx smiles at the crowd with her husband Kelley, as they celebrate her primary win as Cook County State's Attorney in 2016. Charles Rex Arbogast/AP hide caption

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Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Election Results Show Voters Nationwide Ready For Criminal Justice Reform

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Police line up in Philadelphia on Oct. 28 following two nights of protesting and unrest after the fatal shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. by police. Philadelphia was among the cities approving oversight measures. Gabriella Audi/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Demonstrators hold placards reading "BLACK LIVES MATTER," "Walter Wallace JR." and DEFUND PPD" as they gather in protest near the location where Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man, was killed by two police officers in Philadelphia. Police officers said he was armed with a knife. Mark Makela/Getty Images hide caption

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Where Has Trump Been In The Last 2 Weeks?

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