Beth Fertig

Senior Reporter, WNYC News

Beth Fertig is a senior reporter covering courts and legal affairs. She focuses on how different New Yorkers interact with the civil and criminal justice systems. Her work explores whether justice is meted out fairly and whether programs within the courts can reduce incarceration and solve social problems. She also covers the federal immigration courts and how changes in immigration law affect New Yorkers under President Donald Trump's administration.

Beth started working at WNYC in 1995 covering city politics and spent many years covering public education. She is the author of Why cant u teach me 2 read? Three Students and a Mayor Put Our Schools to the Test (FSG Books) which grew out of a radio series on the low graduation rate for special education students. She also worked on the award-winning WNYC series  “Being 12” and reported on efforts to promote integration in the New York City public schools. Follow her @bethfertig.

Beth is a New York City native who discovered her love for journalism at her college newspaper at the University of Michigan. She also has a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. She is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio. She’s won many local and national awards, including the prestigious Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award for Broadcast Journalism for her series of reports in 2001 about an effort to privatize some struggling city schools.

Beth also won an Edward R. Murrow award for an investigation of a subway fire. And she’s won numerous awards from the city's Deadline Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the New York Press Club -- which gave her a special award after the 2001 terrorist attacks for a profile on the friendship of two WTC survivors.

Read Beth's latest reporting on Gothamist.

Beth Fertig appears in the following:

Guatemalan Mom to Be Reunited With Her Son in New York After Being Separated at US Border

Thursday, January 23, 2020

A Guatemalan mom who's been apart from her teenage son since the end of 2017 is heading to New York so she can rejoin him.


Supporters Of NY’s Bail Law Say Considering A Defendant’s Dangerousness is Biased

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Prominent Democrats are suggesting tweaks to the bail law are needed, to the dismay of the law’s supporters


Trump Administration Loses Fight To Temporarily Block Public Charge Rule For Immigrants

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

The Trump administration has lost its latest bid to implement a rule that would make it harder for low income immigrants to get green cards.


New York's New Bail Law May be Amended for Hate Crimes

Monday, January 06, 2020

After a series of anti-Semitic attacks, top New York Democrats are suggesting they’ll consider changes to the controversial new bail laws.


As New Bail Laws Take Effect, Some Defendants Walk Free But With Conditions

Thursday, January 02, 2020

We spent a morning watching arraignments at Manhattan Criminal Court to see the impact of the state’s controversial new bail laws.


New Bail and Discovery Laws in New York

Monday, December 30, 2019

Beth Fertig, WNYC senior reporter, previews New York's new discovery and bail laws and whether they will lead to more defendants taking more pleas instead of pursuing trials.

Will New York’s New Criminal Justice Laws Lead to More Trials?

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Prosecutors will have to share evidence with defendants much faster, once New York state’s new bail and discovery laws take effect in January. 


NY Gets Ready for Bail Reform, Part 3

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

A look at the costs of bail reform, and whether the state is ready to cover them.


NY Gets Ready for Bail Reform, Part 2

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

We continue our series on bail reform by looking at whether the sweeping changes taking effect Jan. 1 are appropriate for people accused of serious crimes.


NY Gets Ready for Bail Reform, Part 1

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

NYC has an established alternative to bail reform, but how ready is it to take on 4 times as many defendants awaiting trial?



Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Supreme Court weights the end of DACA. 

The Women Who Sketch Justice at Work

Monday, November 04, 2019

Because cameras still aren’t allowed in federal court, media organizations rely on a small group of New York City artists to depict what happens at trials and hearings. 

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HIV Positive Woman Wins Asylum, Can Now Bring Over Deported Daughter

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A Honduran woman and daughter who were seeking asylum for HIV persecution may now be reunited, after their separation at the border last year.


Three Young Girls Were Separated at the Border from a Father with HIV

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

This family is among hundreds the ACLU claims were wrongfully separated at the border, in the year since a judge blocked the Trump Administration from taking kids away from parents.

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Undocumented Restaurant Worker Is Arrested by ICE During Deposition Against His Employer

Friday, August 16, 2019

A Chinese restaurant worker claims Immigration and Customs Enforcement violated its own policy by detaining him as he pursued a federal lawsuit against a former employer.

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As Raids Failed to Materialize, Many Immigrants Still Felt Fearful

Sunday, July 14, 2019

New York City braced for immigration raids that didn’t come to pass on Sunday.

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Queens DA Candidates Champion Progressive Policies – Some More Than Others

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

After almost three decades of leadership by former Queens DA Richard Brown, the seven challengers running to replace him are competing to showcase their progressive credentials.

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What You Need to Know About the Queens D.A. Candidates

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

There will be a debate among the seven Democrats running for Queens D.A. in the Greene Space on Wednesday. The question is: who will be the biggest reformer?

American Bar Association Says Immigration Courts Are 'On The Brink Of Collapse'

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

The American Bar Association says the nation's immigration courts are so overloaded they're "on the brink of collapse." Now new data show the backlog has grown to almost 900,000 cases.


A Cautionary Tale For DACA Recipients From A Detained Student

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Omar Helalat has spent more than a year at an ICE detention center outside Buffalo, even though charges against him were dropped. His lawyer claims that’s unconstitutional.

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