Jennifer Brookland

Detroit Free Press

Reporter Profile

Jennifer Brookland reports on child welfare in Michigan for the Detroit Free Press. Prior to joining the Free Press, she reported on military and veterans’ affairs and produced a daily talk show highlighting local and statewide issues for North Carolina Public Radio. She has also spent seven years freelancing. Brookland began her career as a special agent with the U.S. Air Force, where she led felony-level criminal investigations and was deployed to the Horn of Africa in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, and a master’s from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Brookland says that she vaguely remembers enjoying traveling, reading and theater but adds that she spends most of her time now trying to convince her three kids that she’s in charge.

Beat: Coverage of the welfare of children in Michigan including foster care, juvenile justice and mental health

This beat looks at issues affecting Michigan's most vulnerable children: their interactions with child protective services and the juvenile justice system, their physical and mental health. What happens to kids who age out of foster care, and what about the 20,000-plus Michigan kids that child protective services removed from homes because of abuse or neglect? This beat digs deep, and holds officials accountable for systems designed to protect children.