If you’ve suffered a crime, there’s state money to help. Good luck getting your hands on it.

New Jersey, like every other state, provides compensation to victims of crime or their survivors. But interviews with victims’ families and advocates, and a review of records, show the once-innovative program has morphed into an agency often at odds with its own charitable mission, building barriers to aid and too frequently finding reasons to deny…

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Boston taxpayers shell out millions for workers paid to stay home while under investigation

A WBZ I-Team investigation revealed Boston taxpayers have continued to pay public employees facing criminal charges or workplace misconduct allegations. The report revealed that taxpayers have spent $5 million on paid leave for these employees. The average worker is paid to stay at home for an average of nine months, receiving roughly $72,000 during that…

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Crime guns sold by law enforcement end up in new crimes

A year-long Associated Press investigation found that Washington state law enforcement agencies sold almost 6,000 firearms that were confiscated during criminal investigations, and more than a dozen of those guns ended up in new crimes. The AP analysis, using multiple databases created from hundreds of public records to find matching serial numbers, tracked for the…

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Inmate deaths reveal “torturous” use of Tasers

In ‘The Prisoners,’ published this week, Reuters documented 104 deaths of inmates behind bars after jailers stunned them with Tasers, often as part of a larger mosaic of force. Most inmates were stunned though video footage showed they were already immobilized, many in handcuffs.  The story and video package revealed abuses so severe UN watchdogs…

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Police officers convicted of serious crimes still on the job

The Star Tribune found more than 500 Minnesota police officers, including 143 who are still on the job, with criminal convictions. Less than one-quarter were disciplined by the state’s licensing board.   The paper matched names and dates of birth of licensed police officers against the state’s conviction database, requested hundreds of pages of police and…

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Judges steer defendants into work camps for private industry

Across the country, judges increasingly are sending defendants to rehab instead of prison or jail. These diversion courts have become the bedrock of criminal justice reform, aiming to transform lives and ease overcrowded prisons.  But in the rush to spare people with addiction from prison, judges are steering defendants into rehabs that often are little…

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Lax oversight leaves FAA systems ripe for abuse

In a two-part series from The Boston Globe, the Spotlight Team focused on the Federal Aviation Administration, which is supposed to keep track of every American plane, pilot and airplane mechanic at its offices in Oklahoma City. But their record-keeping system allows so much secrecy and relies so heavily on self-reporting of crimes and other…

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How taxpayer dollars fund sex, drugs, and abuse in NC prisons

A Charlotte Observer investigation found that a hidden world of drugs, sex and gang violence thrives inside North Carolina’s prisons and that the officers who are paid to prevent such corruption are instead fueling it. Prison officers frequently team up with inmates on crimes that endanger staff members, inmates, and the public. 

Private diversion programs are failing those who need help the most

Outsourced offender-funded diversion programs are becoming increasingly popular among prosecutors because they reduce caseloads, cost nothing and sometimes even bring in revenue. But an investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting found that programs run by CorrectiveSolutions often failed to help those who most need the programs.