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 bonds" ...

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • The Strong Arm of the Law: They call themselves 'bail enforcement agents,' but most know them as bounty hunters, people paid to collar recalcitrant, usually petty, criminals. But sometimes they miss.

    Story explains how bounty hunters can sometimes use extreme measures to arrest a person who owes bail money. Article also talks about Rep. Asa Hutchinson's (an Arkansas Republican) calls for a "Citizen Protection Act" or "Bounty Hunter Responsibility Act" because sometimes bounty hunters make mistakes, or act inappropriately.
  • In the Event of Flight

    Jeff Tietz examines the life and work of bounty hunter Tom Evangelista who operates in New York City and the surrounding area. The article looks at some of Evangelista's cases and describes his views on crime, criminals, and the bounty hunting industry.
  • The bonds of justice

    A computer-assisted investigation of 150,000 cases revealed huge inequalities between minorities and whites in Connecticut's bond system. African-American or Hispanic men with apparently clean records have to pay, on average, double the bond that a white man will have to pay. Also, some judges use excessive bail to punish people who have been neither tried nor convicted of any crime. Judicial officials have failed to make sure Connecticut's bond system is operating justly.
  • Friends in high places help wipe felon's record clean

    An investigation of a two-time convicted felon whose friendships with top law enforcement officials in Rhode Island allowed him to have his criminal record erased. Those same officials helped him get a gun permit and bail bondsman's license.
  • (Untitled)

    Since 1992 in Kanawha Circuit Court, 247 people have violated bail requirements, but the county prosecutor rarely collects money on forfeited bail. The Gazette examines how this situation creates a low-risk to no-risk business for the county's four professional bail bondsmen. (Sept. 12, 1996)