Judges who awarded her the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award called her articles, “Exhaustively reported…a great example of explanatory journalism on a matter of public health concern using both well-chosen expert sources and ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances.”
A graduate of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Pfeiffer began her career at the Staten Island (N.Y.) Advance, her hometown newspaper. She reported for 30 years for the Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal, a small daily newspaper that supported her research.
Pfeiffer’s articles have been underwritten by the Fund for Investigative Journalism, Kaiser Family Foundation for Health, and the Open Society Institute, which named her a Soros Justice Media Fellow in 2004. The fellowship led to the publication in 2007 of her first book, “Crazy in America: The Hidden Tragedy of the Criminalized Mentally Ill,” which has been acclaimed as a testament to the inhumanity of prison solitary confinement. She has written for The New York Times Magazine, Village Voice, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, Hartford Courant, Des Moines Register, Newsday and USA Weekend magazine.
She resides on a country lane in Ulster County, N.Y., with her husband, Robert Miraldi, an author and journalism professor.