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 "drug use" ...

  • They Shared Drugs. Someone Died. Does That Make Them Killers?

    This was a year-long investigation of the prosecution of accidental drug overdoses as homicides. It is the first and only story to attempt to quantify the national scale of this emerging trend using court data. It also involved a review of 82 individual cases in Pennsylvania to examine where defendants fit on the user-dealer continuum and whether they were drug users themselves.
  • Prosecuting Pregnancy

    The criminalization of drug use in pregnancy is universally opposed by health officials and drug policy experts. But the idea that prison is a fitting punishment for prenatal drug use has become widely accepted in Alabama. Starting in 2006, prosecutors began charging women who used drugs during pregnancy with “chemical endangerment,” a form of child abuse that carries a one to 10-year prison sentence if a baby is unharmed and up to 99 years if a baby dies.
  • Nation Institute (TomDispatch and The Intercept) coverage of the U.S. Military in Africa

    I wrote an untitled collection of articles for The Nation Institute’s TomDispatch.com and First Look Media’s The Intercept investigating the U.S. military’s extensive and largely secret operations on the African continent. Utilizing documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act and from a whistle blower as well as a plethora of open source material, I offered a rare glimpse of the actions of a very secretive military command. Along the way, I revealed covert U.S. drone bases used for targeted killing campaigns from Yemen and Somalia to Iraq and Syria; I exposed unreported drug use and criminal behavior by U.S. forces across Africa; and shined a light on a multitude of missions in which elite U.S. forces trained alongside members of African armies regularly cited by the State Department for human rights abuses; among many other revelations. (While The Intercept may not fit the definition of a small outlet, I generally work alone and receive only spare support beyond editing. And TomDispatch is a truly tiny outlet.) https://theintercept.com/drone-papers/target-africa/ https://theintercept.com/2015/10/21/stealth-expansion-of-secret-us-drone-base-in-africa/ https://theintercept.com/2016/02/10/where-to-invade-next-is-the-most-subversive-movie-michael-moore-has-ever-made/
  • The drug war at Alabama

    This series investigated the uniquely intrusive and harsh tactics the University of Alabama and local law enforcement agencies have employed in their efforts to address drug use and abuse on campus at UA. The first installment was the first in the nation to expose a university engaged in mandatory drug-testing of fraternities. The second looked at an infamous 2013 drug raid that targeted low-level student marijuana offenders and had lasting negative impacts many students' lives. And the third piece focused on the use of UA students as confidential drug informants, including the first-person story of one student who actually served as an undercover informant for the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force.
  • The Dark Side: Secrets of the Sports Dopers

    This is the first undercover investigation into the world of performance enhancing drugs in American sports. In order to shed light on this otherwise opaque world, Al Jazeera hired a professional athlete to infiltrate a network of doctors, pharmacists and others who are complicit in helping athletes cheat the system. They shared with Al Jazeera their techniques for beating the tests and finding sources for designer drugs. They also provided the names of elite athletes that they worked with. The investigation has shifted the national conversation about illicit drug use in the NFL and will spur numerous inquiries into the allegations levied in the film. The fallout will likely continue for months, perhaps years, as criminal investigations build on the research gathered in this project. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJRPxmTuxoI
  • Inmates making insiders wealthy

    Privately owned and operated work-release programs are a new fad in corrections. Work-release programs tend to reduce recidivism rates and inmates are able to save some money while in prison so they don’t re-enter the real world penniless. Privately run programs, according to proponents, are superior to those run by public entities, because private operators take a percentage of inmate wages and are thus incentivized to find the best possible jobs for inmates. However, as The Advocate’s stories have shown, the private companies that get this work tend to be politically connected, and they don’t have any real incentive to provide quality housing or food or to prevent escapes. They chronicled problems with escapes, drug use and even death at one outfit run by friends of the sheriff of St. Tammany Parish, a New Orleans suburb. That facility was shut down after our reporting (which the sheriff called “reckless”). As another direct result of their investigation, the state secretary of the Department of Corrections announced that in the future, work-release programs would only get contracts after undergoing a competitive process.
  • Broken Code

    Broken Code was a Gazette investigation into athlete misconduct at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the Air Force’s failure to hold coaches and other leaders accountable for the acts of their players. It also examined the systems and the culture that led to widespread misconduct at a school where cadets pledge to live by a strict honor code. The stories showed a raucous culture on teams, especially the football squad, with sexual assault, academic misconduct, drug use and binge drinking. The Air Force had punished players but kept the pattern of misconduct tightly under wraps while taking no actions against leaders. The reporting later revealed a backdoor that lets star athletes into military academies despite serious academic deficiencies that would see them denied admission otherwise.
  • Dispute over drug in feed limiting US meat exports

    Ractopamine, a controversial veterinary drug used widely in pork production to boost growth and leanness, is limiting US meat exports. An investigation of U.S. Food and Drug Administration records found that more pigs were reported to have suffered adverse effects from ractopamine than any other pork drug. The report, produced by the Food and Environment Reporting Network and published on msnbc.com, found that ractopamine had not only sparked complaints about animal welfare, but had also raised concerns about potential human health impacts. China, Taiwan, the EU and others had all raised concerns about the gaps in science backing the safety of the drug, which as been approved as safe by the FDA. Much of the available research used in international and US safety assessments was sponsored by Elanco, the drug company that makes ractopamine.
  • Failed Drug Wars

    The war on drugs has cost the United States $1 trillion dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives. Yet, the drug use and violence is even more rampant that is was forty years ago. The AP reports from the front lines of the drug war in Mexico to determine why the U.S. is still losing this battle.
  • Carnival Safety Investigation

    Inside Edition sent a producer with hidden cameras to work at several traveling carnivals around the country where he uncovered major drug use by some of the carnival ride operators. In addition to capturing "ride jockeys" abusing (and dealing) drugs just minutes before they began operating major thrill rides popular with children and young adults, our producer also observed several serious safety issues inherent in the traveling carnival industry. Among these safety issues were questionable hiring practices, inadequate training policies and dangerous mechanical issues on multiple rides.