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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This image from video shows Minneapolis police officers Thomas Lane, left, and J. Alexander Kueng, right, escorting George Floyd, center, to a police vehicle outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis, on May 25, 2020. The image was shown as prosecutor Steve Schleicher gave closing arguments in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the death of Floyd. AP hide caption

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How Using Videos At Chauvin Trial And Others Impacts Criminal Justice

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1 Year Later, The Video Of George Floyd's Death Has Lasting Impacts

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Police officer David Moore is pictured wearing a body camera in Ipswich, Mass., on Dec. 1, 2020. The city was among 25 statewide awarded grants to purchase body-worn cameras for videotaping interactions with the public. A new study says the benefits to society and police departments outweigh the costs of the cameras. Boston Globe/Boston Globe via Getty Images hide caption

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Boston Globe/Boston Globe via Getty Images

Jury Deliberates As Derek Chauvin's Murder Trial Comes To A Close

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Second Week Of Derek Chauvin Trial Comes To A Close

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A Review Of Day 8 Testimony In Derek Chauvin's Trial In Minneapolis

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Police Chief: Derek Chauvin Violated Minneapolis Policies On Use Of Force

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'We Will Be Judged Forever' On Use Of Force, Says Police Chief In Chauvin Trial

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Takeaways From Week 1 Of Derek Chauvin's Trial

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Witnesses Continue To Testify As Derek Chauvin Trial Nears End Of First Week

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Review Of Witness Testimony In Day 2 Of Derek Chauvin Trial

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A sign points toward the women's section of the Huntington Beach jail. The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls is appealing to President Biden to grant clemency to 100 women during his first 100 days in office. Jeff Gritchen/Orange County Register via Getty Images hide caption

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#FreeHer Campaign Wants Clemency For 100 Women In Biden's First 100 Days

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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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Juveniles Part Of A Huge Increase In Carjackings Across The Country

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