IRE Radio Podcast | A Pattern of Injustice

Every year, more than 2,000 women in Minnesota report to police that they were raped or sexually assaulted. So, the Minneapolis Star Tribune decided to take a look at what happens after a report is made, analyzing more than 1,000 cases. They found that in almost half, police failed to interview potential witnesses. In roughly…

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IRE Radio Podcast | Staining The System

Blood delivers oxygen to our tissues. It fights off infections. It courses through our veins. But can it help us catch a murderer? A little-known arm of forensic science, known as bloodstain pattern analysis, believes it can. On this week’s episode, Pamela Colloff, a senior reporter at ProPublica and writer-at-large for The New York Times…

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IRE Radio Podcast | Three Strikes

A 1982 Virginia law meant to reduce recidivism had a pretty simple concept: Three strikes and you’re out. Or, in prison terms, you’re in for good. On this week’s episode, we talk with Virginian-Pilot reporter Tim Eberly about his three-month investigation into the law. Tim interviewed 41 “three-strikers” and found that the majority had never…

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Behind the Story: How a little-known law can send you to prison for a murder you never committed

Alison Flowers (left) and Sarah Macaraeg (right) You might think you have to kill someone to be charged with murder. But at least in Illinois, you’d be wrong. In an investigation for the Chicago Reader, independent journalists Alison Flowers and Sarah Macaraeg spent several months looking into a controversial law called the “felony murder rule,”…

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IRE Radio Podcast | Profiting from Prisoners

Prisons have long posed a challenge for investigative journalists. And when you’re trying to report on a private prison ­– one owned by a company, not the government – the situation becomes even more challenging. On this episode, we’re talking to three reporters who managed to pull back the curtain on the for-profit prison system. Shane Bauer describes…

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IRE Radio Podcast | Life and Death in Lowell

Approximately 2,700 women are serving time at Lowell Correctional Institution, the nation’s largest women’s prison. On this episode, Miami Herald reporter Julie Brown discusses her year-long investigation into Lowell. Documents, interviews and a Facebook page for former inmates helped her expose a world of sexual extortion, abuse and corruption inside the Florida prison. As always,…

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How to look inside the secret world of the juvenile justice system

By Tierra Smith Correctional facilities tend to document everything. But it can be difficult for journalists to get records from the juvenile justice system because cases and incidents involving minors tend to be confidential. Chad Day, a reporter for The Associated Press; Kim English of the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice; and Paula Lavigne, a…

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Scrutinizing what you scrape: How The New York Times investigated arbitration

A graphic from The New York Times’ arbitration series Court records have long been a vital tool for journalists looking to hold powerful corporations accountable. But what happens when disputes between companies and consumers move out of open court and into private meeting rooms? What happens when class action lawsuits – and the wealth of…

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IRE Radio Podcast | Solitary to the Streets

This week we’re taking a look at a joint investigation between The Marshall Project and NPR. The two teamed up to look at what happens when prisoners go straight from solitary confinement back to the streets. Reporters Christie Thompson and Joseph Shapiro will discuss how they worked through common prison reporting roadblocks. As always, you…

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IRE Radio Podcast | The Problem with Witness Protection

When the Washington, DC police chief bristled over a question about witness executions, Washington Post reporter Cheryl W. Thompson knew she was on to something. On this episode we’ll be talking to Thompson about her investigation into witness killings and intimidation. And for the second half of the show we dug into our audio archives…

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