Above, visiting room, former maximum-security juvenile prison. Unless noted, all photography by JB Nicholas.
REPORTER / PHOTOJOURNALIST / FIRST AMENDMENT ADVOCATE
JB NICHOLAS IS AN EX-OFFENDER TURNED REPORTER, PHOTOJOURNALIST AND FIRST AMENDMENT ADVOCATE BASED IN NEW YORK CITY, COVERING CRIME, COURTS, COPS, BREAKING NEWS, PRISONS AND OUTLAWS
Since 2006, his news photography has appeared in scores of print, online and broadcast publications around the world, including Paris Match, National Geographic, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, People, Time, The Guardian, The Village Voice, the Daily Mail, the New York Post, the New York Daily News, Gothamist.com, Oxygen.com, Newsday, The Villager and many others.
His reporting has been published by the Daily Beast.com, The Village Voice, National Public Radio, WNYC, Narrative.ly, Gothamist.com, Oxygen.com, the New York Post, the New York Daily News and The Villager.
Among his reports was an account detailing how the New York State courts and prison system killed a mentally-ill juvenile offender named Benjamin Van Zant; that report and two follow-ups helped spur legislation raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York to 18.
His reporting also revealed that New York City was building a new $1 billion jail on Rikers Island, at the same time advocates were pushing for its closure -- work on the new jail was halted upon the publication of the report, and the new jail was eventually cancelled.
He’s also reported on the prison “slave” labor industry, for-profit policing, the plight of pregnant incarcerated women, rape by prison guards, a mother’s call for justice against the cop who killed her daughter, and the haunting grief following the fiance of a man who was murdered hours after moving to Chicago.
JB Nicholas's focus on the criminal justice system is no accident -- he himself was incarcerated from November 1990 until July 2003.
Besides cops, court and prisons JB Nicholas has reported on environmental groups' successful opposition to "glamping" -- luxury camping -- on public-owned wilderness in the Adirondack Forest Preserve, fracking in Pennsylvania, Confederate icons on public display in the U.S. Capital and in the Bronx, as well as bike messengers' battle against Uber's courier service.