INDIANAPOLIS | An Indiana judicial group honored a Times reporter Friday for her ongoing coverage of the struggles of families throughout the state in obtaining services for children with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities.
Times investigative reporter Marisa Kwiatkowski received the Indiana Judges Association 2012 Commendation for Excellence in Public Information and Education in a special ceremony Friday in Indianapolis.
The association presents the annual award to reporters or news organizations for exemplary work to educate the public about the state's courts.
Kwiatkowski's series of articles, titled Children in Peril, put a spotlight on how families throughout Indiana are struggling to find appropriate mental health services for their children.
To date, the articles have demonstrated how judges, prosecutors, public defenders, probation officers and others are frustrated by the limitations of the law in providing services for such children.
The articles also have illustrated how a number of families agreed — as a last, desperate measure — to plead guilty to neglect to get their children needed services.
Some others forced themselves into the court system by “abandoning” their children at a residential facility to make children with severe mental illnesses and/or developmental disabilities wards of the state.