JENNIFER GONNERMAN is a staff writer for The New Yorker. For the past fifteen years, she has been documenting the stories of New Yorkers living on the margins. Her first piece for The New Yorker, "Before the Law," about a teenager who spent three years in jail without a trial, was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize.
Before joining The New Yorker, Jennifer worked for New York magazine for seven years as a contributing editor. At New York, she wrote about juvenile delinquents, panhandlers, foreclosure victims, West African teens, Chinese deliverymen, subway track workers, and taxi drivers. From 1997 to 2006, she was a staff writer for The Village Voice, where she covered the criminal justice system. She is a contributing writer for Mother Jones, and her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Columbia Journalism Review, and The Baffler.
Jennifer's first book, Life on the Outside: The Prison Odyssey of Elaine Bartlett, chronicles the homecoming of a woman who spent sixteen years in prison for a first-time offense under New York's Rockefeller drug laws. The book was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2004. At the time, the Rockefeller drug laws were among the most punitive drug laws in the nation. Eight months after its publication, Life on the Outside helped persuade New York's legislators to reform these notorious laws. The book was also a finalist for the National Book Award.
Jennifer's journalism has won numerous other prizes as well, including a Sidney Award from the Hillman Foundation for "Last Home Standing," a New York magazine story about the victim of a predatory lending scandal. She has also received the Livingston Award for Young Journalists, the Meyer Berger Award from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and eight Front Page Awards from the Newswomen's Club of New York.