Stories

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

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Search results for "bail bond" ...

  • The Marshall Project: The Bail Bond Racket

    Many journalists have detailed the financial costs the bail bond industry imposes on poor or minority families. This article is the first to expose, in detail and to the penny, the financial benefits reaped by the bail bond industry, using the lightly regulated state of Mississippi as case in point.
  • Get out of jail on a payment plan.

    New Jersey bail bond companies are making it possible for accused killers, thieves, drug dealers and individuals charged with gun-related crimes to go free on installment plan deals before trial without the knowledge of judges and prosecutors. It's a practice that has come in for criticism in states like Washington and Ohio where defendants set free on payment plan deals have been accused of murder. This is the first investigation to document how often defendants secure these deals.
  • Bail Bondsmen: Working the Numbers

    A year-long investigation into the bail bond industry by the Dallas Morning News focused on the relationship between bail bondsmen, the judicial system, and the county government. The investigation uncovered corrupt practices, sweetheart deals, and dysfunctional oversight that cost taxpayers many millions of dollars.
  • Getting Away With Attempted Murder

    WXYZ-TV exposed broken bail bond system in the state's busiest courts that led to major reforms.
  • When Florida Fugitives Flee the Country, Justice Rarely Follows

    The story examines a bail bond woman's questionable practices.
  • Bail Bond Investigation

    The investigation uncovered major loopholes in a bail bond system which allowed countless defendants to get out of jail by posting bogus bonds.
  • The Mysterious Death of Janie Ward

    This hour-long report is a result of a five-year investigation into the death of a 16-year-old girl 20 years ago in a small town in the Ozarks. It's about two daughters -- one wealthy and popular (a cheerleader and beauty queen); the other poor and self-conscious. It's about two fathers -- one a powerful judge who allegedly shielded his daughter from the law he's sworn to uphold; the other a bail bondsman who is trying to avenge his daughter's death. And it's about one family's fight for justice against what they believe is a corrupt judicial system that closed ranks around the powerful judge to cover-up a murder. When 16-year-old Jamie Ward fell off a 9-inch porch in the woods near Marshall, Ark., on September 9, 1989, her parents refused to blieve that the fall had killed their healthy teenager. Instead, they began to suspect to suspect she was murdered by the judge's daughter. After years of demanding an investigation into her death, an independent medical examiner associated with Parents for Murdered Children exhumed Janie's body a second time for an extremely rare third autopsy. Because the case was 20 years old, most of the files were not digital; rather, the investigation focused on old-fashioned reporting: finding and interviewing eyewitnesses (all of whom had not been reinterviewed since the original investigation); analyzing inconsistencies in the witness statements, double-checking the forensics with independent experts.
  • Prisoners Dilemma: How NYC's Bail System Puts Justice on Hold

    This story detailed how the imposition of financial bail in relatively minor criminal cases results in the pretrial detention of thousands of mostly poor, largely black or Hispanic New Yorkers every year. It explored every aspect of the process in which bail is set from arrest to arraignment to jail, looking at the role of police, prosecutors, judges, bail bond agents and other players. The piece documented deviations between the reality of bail and its statutory purpose and charted the impact of bail and detention on individual lives and the justice system, as well as dissecting some possible reforms to the system.
  • Habitat: Borrowed Dreams

    This story discovers some negative outcomes within Habitat for Humanity, the popular charity that helps poor families become homeowners. The report found that Habitat's recipients were ill-prepared for home ownership. More than 40 percent of the local affiliate's homeowners filed for bankruptcy after moving into their homes, and nearly half of those who filed for bankruptcy did so multiple times. For many, Habitat's benefits, including its hallmark zero-interest mortgage, fell victim to crushing financial stresses. They found at least 40 examples of homeowners refinancing their no-interest mortgage, adding costly second mortgages or tacking criminal bail bond liens onto their homes. Desperate for cash paid at closing when taking a new home loan, homeowners paid fat fees and took on steep interest rates, some as high as 24 percent. Seventeen homeowners either lost their homes in foreclosure of deeded them to others. Some contributing factors involved Habitat for Humanity, for having inadequate front-end financial training, and a failure to protect Habitat mortgages from new lenders. Other factors stemmed from poverty in Memphis.
  • One the Hook. The ill-fated union of an insurance giant and a bail bondsman. AIG wagered on a maverick of the business, and lost; incentives to run for it. Now, sniffing out the 'skips.'

    According to the article, "...It's also one of the hundreds and possibly thousands of similar cases of skipped bail that are the fruit of an ill-fated three-year partnership between H&H Bail Bonds Inc., a firm that in its ads claimed 'We Will Bail When Others Fail,' and American International Group Inc., one of the largest and most prestigious insurers in the world. Guided by H&H founder Raymond W. Hrdlicka and backed by the financial might of AIG, H&H sought to dominate an industry of mom-and-pop shops by bending long-established rules and sometimes taking on clients whom more conservative bail-bond firms would have deemed too risky."