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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Crime Stoppers lets people call in anonymous tips to its programs across the United States. Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images hide caption

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Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Do Cash Rewards For Crime Tips Work?

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Crime Victims' Families Offer Rewards For Information

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FBI, Local Police Arrest Dozens Of People In Effort To Avert Potential Mass Shootings

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Mississippi River floodwaters inundate the pavilion and a play area at Harriet Island in St. Paul, Minn., this past March. Jim Mone/AP hide caption

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Wet, Wild And High: Lakes And Rivers Wreak Havoc Across Midwest, South

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The Fayette County school system runs regular classes for the young people incarcerated at the Fayette Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Lexington, Ky. Cheryl Corley/NPR hide caption

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Running Away Or Skipping School Could Get A Kid Locked Up. Now That's Changing

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Kentucky's Turnaround On Prosecuting Minors For 'Status Offenses' Like Truancy

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A Doggone Good Celebration: Shelter Dogs Graduate Cook County Jail Training Program

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Historic Former Publisher Of Ebony And Jet Magazines Files For Bankruptcy

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Chicago Voters Elect Their First African-American Female Mayor

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News Brief: FAA Head On Capitol Hill, Jussie Smollett

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Chicago police officers line up outside the District 1 central headquarters during a protest of the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The shooting death became a rallying cry for activists calling for police reform. Paul Beaty/AP hide caption

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'The Consent Decree Will Make Us Better,' Federal Oversight of Chicago Police Begins

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Consent Decree Goes Into Effect For Chicago Police Department

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2 African-American Women In Runoff Election To Be Chicago's Mayor

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R. Kelly Bond Set At $1 Million In Sexual Abuse Case

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