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 "advocates" ...

  • The Texas Observer and Grist with The Investigative Fund: Too Big to Fine, Too Small to Fight Back

    Citgo refineries spew thousands of tons of chemicals into the air, degrading air quality and putting human health at risk. Despite Citgo's revenues hitting north of $40 billion, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality lets the company off easy. For her investigation in The Texas Observer, in partnership with Grist and The Investigative Fund, Naveena Sadasivam dug into how the TCEQ has fined corporate polluters $30 million for air violations, not much more than the $24 million imposed on gas stations, a significant percentage of which are owned by immigrants, just for record-keeping errors. The disparity between TCEQ's treatment of mom-and-pop operations versus large corporations favors those with money and power. The agency rarely punishes big polluters, often because of a legal loophole, and when it does levy a fine, lawyers negotiate big reductions in penalties. As a result, environmental advocates and small business owners say there's a fundamental unfairness at work with the way TCEQ treats the businesses it regulates.
  • The Marshall Project: Exploiting the Exonerated

    Two mentally disabled brothers spent 30 years in prison before DNA exonerated them of the rape and murder of an 11 year old girl. Once free, the very people supposed to help and protect them - their sister, lawyers and self-described advocates - preyed on them and ripped off hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Insight with John Ferrugia: Protecting the Vulnerable

    The Rocky Mountain PBS investigation, Protecting the Vulnerable, brought various cases of abuse, neglect, and mistreatment of intellectually disabled adults to the attention of state and local officials as well as community advocates, prompting them to improve the safety of Colorado’s host home system by reviewing and enhancing state regulations and working to develop new legislation.
  • APM Reports: Voter Suppression

    A handful of states are using someone's decision not to vote as the trigger for removing them from the rolls. The APM Reports analysis resulted in the first estimate of the so-called "use it or lose it" policy's possible impact. We found that no state has been more aggressive with this approach than Georgia, where Brian Kemp, as secretary of state, oversaw the purging of a growing number of voters ahead of his own run for governor, according to an APM Reports investigation. Voting rights advocates call it a new form of voter suppression, and they fear it will soon spread to other states.
  • ADG: Violent Reality

    Since 1999, more than 8,000 Arkansans have died by gunfire — about half of them suicides. Although many law enforcement officials and legislators say that gun-control laws might work, they are unwilling to act. The stories explore the effect of specific laws on gun violence in other states, suicide-prevention advocates' work with gun sellers to keep weapons out of suicidal individuals' possession, and federal law enforcement's efforts to keep guns out of the hands of felons.
  • A Cry for Help

    The trend was unmistakable. Minnesotans who were suicidal or otherwise having a mental health crisis were dying in confrontations with police. The Star Tribune decided to go beyond the anecdotes and develop the first comprehensive database of individuals killed after encounters with police in Minnesota. An exhaustive analysis of death certificate data, news accounts, police reports and other records revealed a powerful statistic: 45 percent of those who died in forceful encounters with police were in crisis or had a history of mental illness. The number was even more stark for 2015: nine of 13 killed fell into that category. The Star Tribune multimedia project “A Cry for Help” showed the collision of a broken mental health system with law enforcement, the responders of last resort. While questions of police conduct and use of force have revolved around race, one advocacy group estimated that mentally ill people are 16 times more likely to die in a police encounter than others. Our team faced the challenge of how to tell this story in a fresh and engaging way. They did it by obtaining extraordinary access to individuals: A cop who had killed two people, each of whom threatened him amid their mental breakdowns. The mother of a young mentally ill man killed by police who now advocates for better training. A man who tried to commit suicide by cop whose survival demonstrates how these situations don’t have to end in tragedy. These narratives were enhanced by hard-fought access to dozens of police case files that included powerful police video footage of a St. Paul standoff in 2015. The project also quantified, for the first time, the stories of every person who died in an encounter with police since 2000, and that database is now continually updated on the Star Tribune website.
  • Mental Health and Policing

    Stories on mental health and policing seekt to bring attention to the concern raised by advocates of the mentally ill—that police officers are often ill-equipped to handle calls for people in mental distress. It’s estimated as many as half of fatal police encounters involve people in mental health crisis. Over the course of several months, WBAL told the stories of 3 young men, shot and killed by police in suburban Maryland counties. In each case, a mental health history was involved. WBAL revealed the lack of uniform training and consistent use of crisis intervention teams. Without better effort to equip police, as first responders, a call to 911 can lead to a tragic result.
  • Toxic Safety

    A child’s car seat is the only consumer product that is required by law in all 50 states and it is crucial to keep a child safe in the car. However, this investigation revealed false advertising, legal loopholes and outdated federal regulations are exposing millions of children to concerning, even known-cancer-causing chemicals, in their car seats with no apparent safety benefit. Over the course of a year, KPIX lit car seats on fire, commissioned lab tests on car seats and the kids who use them, searched public records, mined social media, analyzed national car fire data and interviewed experts from every applicable industry. The resulting series sparked action by lawmakers, industry groups, consumer advocates, federal regulators and car seat
  • Discharging Trouble

    The student reporters, working over a span of five months, found cases of elderly and disabled people who were discharged from a Maryland nursing home chain due to alleged financial concerns into unlicensed group or assisted living homes. Two people were assaulted in these homes. Attorneys and advocates for the poor said these were examples of a long-standing problem happening within the nursing care system in Maryland. These issues involve a combination of poor health circumstances, payment troubles, financial incentives to discharge patients and an unregulated underworld of group homes and unlicensed assisted-living facilities.
  • Politics of Pain

    “Politics of Pain,” a multi-part investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and The Associated Press, examines the politics behind the nation’s opioid addiction epidemic, with a unique look at how drugmakers and their allies sought to block and delay legislation and thwart other steps intended to combat opioid abuse while pushing their own profitable but unproven remedies. Drug companies and allied advocates spent more than $880 million on lobbying and political contributions at the state and federal level over the past decade, more than eight times what the formidable gun lobby recorded for political activities during the same period. Using a network of paid allies, drugmakers also created an echo chamber that quietly derailed efforts to curb U.S. consumption of the drugs while pushing new, harder-to-abuse formulations of their products that have not been proven to reduce overdose rates.