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 "arrests" ...

  • The Drug War Series

    The series focused on the execution and impact of the so-called drug war on Chicago's minority communities. Specifically, the stories examined racial disparities in drug sentencing, drug arrests and the number of ex-drug offenders returning to Chicago communities. The Chicago Reporter found that blacks and Latinos were more often sentenced to prison than whites for the same drug crimes, even when they appeared to have similar criminal pasts.
  • Justice Not served

    WITI-TV reports on a breakdown in Milwaukee County's criminal justice system, which has allowed thousands of convicted criminals to escape their court-ordered punishments in the last decade. The investigation began when WITI reporters came across a number of court files that were missing the so-called "fine and cost commitment," an important part of the paperwork. Clerical errors and staffing shortages caused for the county to lose millions of dollars in uncollected fine revenue. County officials have been aware of the problem for years but did nothing to fix it. Meanwhile, thousands of drunk drivers, drug dealers, and even attempted murderers served no jail time.
  • On the road again

    WTHR -TV reports on problems with getting and keeping drunken drivers off the road. The main finding is that many convicted drunken drivers keep on driving on suspended licenses. The investigation exposes defendants driving "away from court just minutes after being sternly admonished not to by the judge." A computerized DUI case database shows that the problem is pervasive, and there is a pattern of drunken driving recidivism. The investigation also sheds light on "a surprising and little-known change in the law that eliminated mandatory jail time for convicted drunken drivers caught driving while suspended."
  • Riverboat Casinos

    Inside Edition investigates the proliferation of drunken driving incidents around riverboat casinos, and finds this to be a national problem. Using hidden-camera investigating techniques, the report reveals the lax alcohol policies at the casinos, which have lead to a number of accidents. Gamblers receive drinks free of charge and as many as they want. As most of the riverboat casinos are in rural areas with few accommodations, when "drunken drivers head home...most of them head right for the highway," Inside Edition reports.
  • Why are they driving

    The Sun-Times reports on the prevalence of improperly unlicensed drivers on the streets of Chicago. The series reveals that many walk out of traffic courts with suspended or revoked licenses, and drive away. According to 1999 statistics for the state of Illinois, more than 73,000 scofflaws were caught driving on suspended or revoked licenses. Still, many have been driving without a license for years and decades. The stories point out that one in five drivers in fatal crashes is improperly licensed, according to an AAA study. The investigation has taken on added importance after a deadly string of accidents involving drivers without license.
  • A Blue Wall of Silence. False Confessions

    The Washington Post exposes police misconduct in Prince George's County in two related series. "False confessions" reveals that the county's homicide detectives have used "such coercive interrogation tactics that innocent people have confessed to murder." Depriving the suspects from sleep, interrogating them for days and not allowing them to talk to lawyers are the most common tactics. "Blue Wall of Silence" reports on a decade-long pattern of police shootings. The stories reveal that, since 1990 the county police officers have shot 122 people, killing 47 of them. "They killed more people than any other major city or county police force from 1990 to 2000," the Post reports. Many of the victims were unarmed and innocent. The investigation finds that police officers have rarely - if ever - been disciplined, and that some of their crimes did not emerge until the victims or their families sued.
  • Cumberland Robbery

    Hughes reports on an armed robbery in a Maryland University dorm, and finds that nonresidents can easily access student buildings. The story reveals the police failure to make any arrests. The reporter investigated whether the crime was drug-related - a possibility the police declined to comment on - but found only sources unwilling to go on record.
  • Debt to Society: The Real Price of Prisons

    A Mother Jones interactive project chronicles and quantifies "the explosive growth of America's inmate population." The online series depicts the economic and social costs of prisons, and includes a database on states' prison population and prison spending. The first part explains why America became the world's leading jailer, and looks at the paradoxical growth of the incarceration rate over the past decades when the crime rate was declining. The reporters find that "the soaring number of nonviolent drug offenders" and increases in sentencing are behind the expansion of prisons. The second part discovers that "prisons are rife with infectious illnesses - and threaten to spread them to the public." The third story examines the influence of jail sentences on inmates' inclination to violence after being released. The fourth part looks at the social costs for children who have a parent behind bars. The fifth article explains various alternatives for society to respond to lawbreakers without locking them up. The sixth part reveals that spending on a domestic anti-drug war is ineffective. The seventh article finds that "mass incarceration comes at a moral cost to every American."
  • Miami Cops

    A Miami Daily Business Review two-year investigation into police criminality reveals "a deadly scandal at the Miami Police Department." The stories document "flaws and bias in the local system used to investigate police shootings." The series started in 2000 with investigation of the death of a 72-year old widower who was machine-gunned by police during a ferocious 1996 drug raid, and of the following $2.5-million settlement of the lawsuit brought by the victim's family. In a federal investigation, Miami officers involved in the shooting were later accused of "conspiracy, lying and fabricating evidence to cover up misconduct," the Review reports. The series also examines "Miami's costly litigation experience over the last decade defending claims of brutality and lawlessness by police."
  • Arresting Developments

    The American Prospect looks at the use of police powers to enforce law on private property. The story reveals that police officers - often in uniform - are hired by private developments to enforce their private parking, speeding, trespassing, loitering, etc. rules. Cops cannot give a speeding ticket to someone who is violating a private speeding limit on a private speed, but they could consider arresting the violator for 'operating to endanger,' the magazine reveals. The reporter finds that "taken together, these moves represent a qualitative, though little noted, expansion of public law enforcement into the realm of private space." A major finding is that the approximately 25,000 private communities that already pay for their own private security patrols could argue successfully that they should not have to pay to support the public police system because they are policing themselves.