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 "budgets" ...

  • CALmatters: California teacher pension debt swamps school budgets

    California’s tax revenue may be surging thanks to a strong economy, but rapidly rising employee pension costs mean public school budgets are being squeezed.
  • A County In Crisis

    Our investigation in Clay County, Missouri, exposed possible misuse of taxpayers’ funds, questionable credit card expenses, slashed budgets, infighting among elected county officials and the mishandling of a program designed to ensure the indigent receive a proper burial. We learned the body of one indigent woman sat in the morgue for a year.
  • Burned

    An investigation by The Oregonian/OregonLive revealed how years of failed Forest Service policy and flawed budgets helped fuel the catastrophic Canyon Creek fire in August 2015.
  • Migrant farmworker housing abuses

    Based on extensive interviews and a review of thousands of inspection reports, the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting has found that chronically poor living conditions persist because the government agencies responsible for enforcing housing standards are often overwhelmed by workload or rendered ineffective by inadequate budgets and toothless policies. Abusive housing practices of both multibillion-dollar agribusiness corporations and small-scale growers continue to flourish as a result. And migrant farmworkers season after season are left to live in rundown apartments, ramshackle trailers and converted motels.
  • The Jindal Effect

    WVUE’s investigation, “The Jindal Effect,” exposed the crippling financial impact Gov. Bobby Jindal’s failed presidential bid had on the state of Louisiana. This entry focuses on two major areas: Jindal's presidential run and the impact on Louisiana. The first (Jindal's Presidential run) shows how the governor may have broken state law, forced Louisiana taxpayers to fund part of his presidential campaign, and questionably raises millions of dollars for his campaign. The series also looks at the effect on taxpayers. Jindal cut budgets but showered big business with gifts as he tried to pave a road to the White House. The result of this series was an exposé on the ways Bobby Jindal ultimately let Louisiana suffer at the expense of his presidential aspirations. https://youtu.be/0N3HrW5cWf8
  • The Brief Life and Private Death of Alexandria Hill

    Squeezed by high caseloads and tight budgets, child welfare agencies across the country are increasingly turning to for-profit companies and cash-strapped non-profit agencies to recruit, screen, train, and monitor foster parents. This little-known but common policy has resulted in child deaths across the country, in part because private agencies have a financial incentive to ignore the sketchy backgrounds of foster parents or festering problems in their homes.
  • Payday California

    The most significant chunk of local budgets in California goes to pay government workers. Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting took on the task of gathering, examining and making public what we pay employees in California’s 58 counties and 482 incorporated cities. We created a website for that information, Payday California (payday.cironline.org), adding important context to the data collected by the California State Controller’s Office on as many as 700,000 city and county employees annually from 2009 through 2013. The website also features additional employee compensation records obtained through open records requests from the 10 largest counties and 10 largest cities in California. The data we requested from cities and counties was more detailed than that released by the state controller. It included employee names and more detailed pay categories. In addition, Reveal standardized job titles so that readers could better understand where their tax money was going. We also conducted statistical analyses to find communities that were clear outliers in how they paid employees.
  • Good Cop, Bad Cop

    Who sues police departments the most? Police officers. In New Jersey, millions of dollars are spent each year on legal fees and settlements for lawsuits involving police. And, while you might imagine that a small handful of bad-apple cops are behind the cases, when you start digging through the legal paperwork a strange pattern begins to emerge. While there are lots of cases where civilians sue the police, there are more lawsuits where police are the plaintiffs. Police officers are suing each other, police departments and the towns and cities they work in -- cops accusing cops of harassment, retaliation and discrimination. Between 2009 and 2012, taxpayers in New Jersey footed the bill for over $49 million in legal fees, settlements and other costs relating to lawsuits involving the police. About $19.5 million went to cases where civilians sued — and $29 million on lawsuits brought by police. But ask government officials at any level throughout the state, and you’ll find no oversight of these cases or even awareness that there’s a problem. The costs don’t come out of police budgets so departments have little incentive to intervene and because the bills are often paid directly by insurance carriers, even the municipalities that pay the premiums aren’t paying attention. No one in the government is tracking the costs and in the meantime the bills continue to add up. And it’s not just the costs, experts says the cases should be tracked so that the data could be used as an early warning system to identify problem officers, but instead the data is being systematically ignored.
  • Profiting from Prisoners: Time Is Money

    "Time Is Money" takes the audience inside prisons, vendors’ operations and families’ homes to reveal a growing structural inequity in society: As mass incarceration stretches corrections department budgets, prisons are cutting back on basic services like providing toilet paper, winter clothes and substance abuse counseling for inmates, forcing families to close the gap. They end up paying into a hidden pipeline of cash flowing directly from relatives’ pockets into a hidden, multi-billion dollar pipeline of cash -- facilitated by financial companies -- to the coffers of prisons and the vendors they employ.
  • Profiting from Prisoners

    "Profiting from Prisoners" is a multiplatform investigative project revealing how financial companies have become central players in a multi-billion dollar economy that shifts the costs of incarceration onto the families of prison inmates and helps private companies profit from these captive customers. The stories and documentary put human faces on a growing structural inequity in society: As mass incarceration stretches prison budgets, prisons are cutting back on basic services like providing toilet paper and winter clothes for inmates. Families are forced to close the gap by paying into a hidden, multi-billion dollar pipeline of cash – facilitated by financial companies – that flows directly from relatives’ pockets to the coffers of prisons and the vendors they employ. The series’ second major story, based on previously undisclosed government documents, detailed multi-year, no-bid contracts granted to Bank of America and JP Morgan to provide financial and other services in federal prisons.