About Radley Balko


Radley Balko is a 38-year-old writer and editor living in Nashville, Tennessee. Currently, he is a writer, reporter, and blogger who covers civil liberties and the criminal justice system for theĀ Washington Post.

Prior to that, he covered the same beat for the Huffington Post, Reason magazine, and as a policy analyst for the Cato Institute. He also writes about music and culture in Nashville.

He has been published in a variety of places, from Playboy to the Wall Street Journal, and wrote a biweekly column for Fox News from 2002-2009. He has twice testified before Congress. His work has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court (Hudson v. Michigan), and cited and excerpted by the Mississippi State Supreme Court (Mississippi v. Edmonds). His reporting has been credited with helping Mississippi murder convict Cory Maye get off of death row, and eventually released from prison. His reporting also helped lead to the termination of longtime Mississippi medical examiner Steven Hayne.

Balko’s 2009 feature on forensics fraud in a Louisiana murder case won the Western Publication Association’s “Maggie Award” for reporting, and in 2011 he was named the L.A. Press Club’s Journalist of the Year.

His 2013 book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces has received praise from numerous critics and media outlets, including the New Yorker, the Economist, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Journal of Books.

Balko is originally from Greenfield, Indiana. He graduated fromĀ Indiana University in 1997 with a BA in journalism and political science. He is a music buff, an amateur photographer, and an admitted “dog person.”