Joseph Darius Jaafari/Spotlight PA

Joseph Darius Jaafari covers prisons and police for Spotlight PA. A graduate of the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism in New York, he’s written about crime, courts and policing of queer communities for Teen Vogue, Rolling Stone Magazine, The New York Times, and PA Post. In 2019, he was awarded the Tow Knight Fellowship at The Marshall Project covering U.S. military courts and was a Solutions Journalism Fellow in South Africa reporting on rape and prosecutions in rural townships outside of Johannesburg. Prior to that, he reported on military technologies and public health issues in the American South. He won three honorable mention awards for his documentary “WOOF: A Barkumentary,” that explored abuse within gay fetish communities and he’s been a video producer for VICE, the New York Post and NationSwell.

Latest by Joseph Darius Jaafari/Spotlight PA


Pennsylvania State Police will escape legislative scrutiny in 2021 budget process

The decision to exclude the department comes after a year dominated by police brutality protests and a harder look within law enforcement agencies across the country at how they interact with Black and brown communities.

By Joseph Darius Jaafari/Spotlight PA

Confronted with significant flaws in coronavirus data, Pa. corrections officials concede ‘it’s unacceptable’

A five-month analysis by Spotlight PA found large fluctuations in the number of tests administered and unexplained changes to the death count.

By Joseph Darius Jaafari/Spotlight PA

Pa. prisons don’t always tell families when inmates are sick. Officials are defending that policy.

The department says it can only release medical details to emergency contacts, but critics contend it’s not doing enough to notify inmates of the need to update those authorizations.
By Joseph Darius Jaafari/Spotlight PA

Law enforcement in Pa. preparing for possible unrest despite ‘no specific threats’ to the Capitol

“While there are no specific threats to the Capitol or the Capitol Complex, we are taking actions out of the abundance of caution, to be prepared in case any situations arise,” Capitol Police Superintendent Joseph Jacob told reporters Thursday.

By Cynthia Fernandez/Spotlight PA and Joseph Darius Jaafari/Spotlight PA

An inmate died of the coronavirus, but Pa. corrections never told his family

State corrections officials say they are following the law in protecting medical information, but family members and advocates contend they could do more when inmates get sick or die.

By Joseph Darius Jaafari/Spotlight PA

Serious COVID-19 outbreak threatens hundreds at Pa. prison for medically vulnerable

In the Capitol, both Democrats and Republicans are calling for the release of ill and geriatric prisoners, but advocates fear it might already be too late.

By Joseph Darius Jaafari/Spotlight PA

Everything Pa. poll watchers can — and can’t — do on Election Day, explained

President Donald Trump called on his supporters to “go into the polls and watch very carefully.” But there are actually strict rules about poll watchers and what they can do.

By Emily Previti and Joseph Darius Jaafari/Spotlight PA