Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "U.S. Justice Department" ...

  • The Virginian-Pilot: Jailed in Crisis

    In a first-of-it’s-kind investigation, the Virginian-Pilot tracked down more than 400 cases across the country in which people with mental illness died in jails, documenting the scope of a tragedy that’s been unfolding for decades: too many people are being jailed instead of treated and many are dying in horrific ways and under preventable circumstances. The series goes on to detail how so many people ended up in jails because of a lack of mental health services and how some municipalities are finding ways to get them into treatment. The investigation prompted long-delayed action by the U.S. Justice Department to address the conditions for people with mental illness in the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth, Virginia.
  • The Laquan McDonald shooting and the city's broken system

    Under orders from a judge, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration on Nov. 24, haltingly and reluctantly, released a police dash-cam video that showed a white police officer shooting a black teenager, Laquan McDonald. The video roiled Chicago. Protesters took to the streets. The police superintendent was fired. The officer who shot McDonald -- a ward of the state -- was charged with murder. And the U.S. Justice Department launched a civil rights investigation into the nation’s second largest police department. During the next three weeks, Tribune reporters set out to examine how the city and the Chicago Police Department had reached this point, and to put into context McDonald’s life and his fatal encounter with a department with a sordid history of brutality against minorities.
  • Undue Force

    For six months reporter Mark Puente investigated how widespread police brutality was in Baltimore. He used court records and trial transcripts, but the heart of the reporting came from coaxing subjects to tell their stories. In addition, to the human toll, the investigation revealed that the city was paying millions in lawsuits involving police brutality and misconduct, shocking officials who said they were unaware of the scope of the problem. Puente's work resulted in a U.S. Justice Department review of the police department, local reforms and proposals for state legislation.
  • Nazi Social Security

    Dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards collected millions of dollars in U.S. Social Security benefits after being forced out of the United States, an Associated Press investigation found. The payments, underwritten by American taxpayers, flowed through a legal loophole that gave the U.S. Justice Department leverage to persuade Nazi suspects to leave the U.S. If they agreed to go, or simply fled before deportation, they could keep their Social Security, according to interviews and internal U.S. government records. Social Security benefits became tools, U.S. diplomatic officials said, to secure agreements in which Nazi suspects would accept the loss of citizenship and voluntarily leave the United States.
  • Hollywood Sting

    When the FBI raided the offices of California State Sen. Ronald Calderon in June 2012, the state’s news media had little idea of what was really going on. Some reporters immediately speculated that the raid was related to links Calderon had with a Southern California water district. But they were wrong. Indeed, no one knew the extraordinary story behind that FBI raid until Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit obtained, through confidential sources, a 124-page sealed affidavit that laid out the government’s case against the embattled senator. In its series, titled “Hollywood Sting,’’ Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit exposed the sordid tale of Sen. Calderon’s alleged bribery and corruption and brought viewers and readers inside the unfolding narrative of an elaborate FBI sting. The network devoted more than an hour of on-air coverage to the story and published its findings on Oct. 30, 2013. The story prompted a “leak’’ investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into how Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit obtained the secret affidavit. DOJ announced the inquiry the day after we broke the story. Just last week, a special agent for DOJ’s Office of Inspector General contacted James Wedick, a former senior FBI supervisor who was interviewed for the story. The investigator sought to question Wedick about Al Jazeera correspondent Josh Bernstein’s contacts in the bureau. The investigator also contacted a lawyer representing Al Jazeera.
  • Need to Know: Crossing the Line at the Border Parts 1 & 2

    Few, if any, pieces published or broadcast in 2012 had as much impact as “Crossing the Line at the Border,” a joint project of the weekly PBS newsmagazine, “Need to Know,” and the Nation Institute that was in the best tradition of American investigative journalism. Within days of its broadcast, 16 members of Congress demanded that the U.S. Justice Department investigate the killing of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, a 42-year-old Mexican whose death at the hands of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents was detailed in our report. A few months later, a U.S. attorney in convened a federal grand jury. It is currently considering criminal charges in the case. And months after that, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the incident had prompted it to launch a full-scale review of its use of force. Hernandez Rojas had a fatal heart attack shortly after being subdued by agents, beaten, and shot with a Taser gun at the San Ysidro border crossing on May 28th, 2010. His death was largely ignored until the "Need to Know” team, in partnership with the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, unearthed never-before-seen eyewitness video of the incident.
  • Locked up

    A USA TODAY investigation found that the U.S. Justice Department was using its legal authority to decide who gets locked up for how long in ways that reward the guilty and punish the innocent. Our examination found that government lawyers were trying to keep dozens of men who they conceded were “legally innocent” imprisoned anyway. We found that the Justice Department had kept accused sexual predators locked up for years past the end of their prison sentences on the basis of faulty psychological assessments. And exposed a brazen pay-to-snitch enterprise that illustrated how the government rewards its informants — often hardened criminals — with shorter prison sentences.
  • "Justice in the Balance"

    USA Today started investigating the topic of potentially corrupt federal prosecutors after the case against Sen. Ted Stevens was dropped. Reporters looked at "tens of thousands"of "routine cases" that were filed in federal court to locate any mishandling of the proceedings. The outcome was startling. Federal prosecutors have "violated the law to win convictions," setting guilty people free and landing "innocent people in jail."
  • The FBI Files

    The Federal FOIA law was found by WTTG-TV to be severely limited by an outdated archival system at the U.S. Justice Department's FBI File warehouse. The news organization tested the FBI's system by filing for more than three dozen FOIA requests, discovering that the FBI uses a system J. Edgar Hoover developed in the 1930s.
  • The Murder of Emmett Till

    This CBS News report examines the murder of young Emmett Till, a black boy who was tortured and killed in 1955 because he whistled at a white woman when he was 14 years old. The case is being investigated again because the U.S. Justice Department opened a new investigation into the case during the spring of 2004. Ed Bradley interviews relatives of Till, eyewitnesses to the crime and new suspects in the most recent investigation.