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.

Story Archive

Assistant Chief Paige Valenta at the Central District offices of the Madison Police Department in Madison, Wis. Taylor Glascock for NPR hide caption

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Increasing women police recruits to 30% could help change departments' culture

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'30 by 30' calls for 30% of police recruits to be women by the year 2030

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Suspect has admitted to shooting at Illinois Fourth of July parade, authorities say

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A 4th of July parade in Illinois was the latest target of a mass shooter

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At least 6 are dead after shooting incident in Highland Park, Ill.

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Illinois protects access to abortion. Locals have mixed reactions to the Roe ruling

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Man accused in killing Buffalo, N.Y., shooting will face federal hate crimes charges

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People visit memorials Thursday for victims of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images hide caption

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Here's what experts say police should have done in the Uvalde school shooting

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More funerals will be held this week for victims of the mass shooting in Buffalo

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The funeral procession for the late Heyward Patterson prepares to depart Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church on Friday, May 20, 2022 in Buffalo, NY. The Patterson was one of 10 people who were killed in the mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market at Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street in a historically Black neighborhood of Buffalo by a young white gunman is being investigated as a hate crime. Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images hide caption

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The Buffalo, N.Y., community holds funerals this week for shooting victims

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Police continue the investigation at the Tops supermarket May 18 in the Cold Spring neighborhood of Buffalo, N.Y. A gunman opened fire at the store on Saturday, killing 10 people and wounding three others. Police say it's being investigated as a racially motivated hate crime. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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The white man accused of killing 10 Black people in Buffalo will be back in court

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Biden calls for unity during his visit to Buffalo, which is shaken by mass shooting

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Protesters hold up signs during an abortion rights demonstration Saturday in New York City. Jeenah Moon/AP hide caption

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Reproductive rights supporters rally across the country

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Protesters across the country are marching for abortion rights

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