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 "inmate" ...

  • Northwest Jails' Mounting Death Toll

    Since 2008, at least 306 people across the Northwest have died after being taken to a county jail. Until now, that number was unknown, in part because Oregon and Washington have not comprehensively tracked those deaths in county jails. If they did, they would find a crisis of rising death rates in overburdened jails that have been set up to fail the inmates they are tasked with keeping safe. Key findings: - Over the past 10 years, the rate of jail deaths has trended upward in Oregon and Washington. In 2008, county jails in Washington had a mortality rate of about 123 deaths for every 100,000 inmates. By 2017, that rate was 162. Jail population data for 2018 were not yet available at the time of publication, but reported deaths spiked that year. A conservative estimate puts the 2018 mortality rate closer to 200 deaths per 100,000 inmates. - In 2018, police shot and killed 39 people between Oregon and Washington, according to data compiled by The Washington Post. For that same year, our investigation found 39 deaths in Oregon and Washington county jails. - At least 70 percent of Northwest inmates who died in the past decade were awaiting trial at the time of their deaths, still considered innocent under the law. - More than 40 percent of deaths happened within an inmate’s first week in jail. A third of all inmates who died never made it past three days. - Suicide, by far the leading cause of jail deaths in the Pacific Northwest, accounted for nearly half of all cases with a known cause of death.
  • Unchecked Power

    After losing hard-fought reelection campaigns, Alabama’s sheriffs often turn their attention to undermining their successors in ways that abuse the public trust. On his way out the door, one sheriff drilled holes in government-issued cell phones, while another pocketed public money intended to feed inmates. The ousted leaders dumped jail food down the drain and burned through tens of thousands of sheriff's office dollars by purchasing thousands of rolls of toilet paper. These are among the findings of my six-month investigation into these practices for AL.com and the ProPublica Local Reporting Network. In June 2019, I chronicled the actions of nine defeated Alabama sheriffs, seven of whom allegedly destroyed public property, stole public funds and/or wasted taxpayer money after their electoral defeats. These stories were made possible by my realization that incoming sheriffs were often more willing to talk on the record about the bad behavior and criminality of predecessors who had taken advantage of them than they would be under other circumstances.
  • WNYC: New Jersery Jail Deaths

    This three-part radio series exposed New Jersey jails as among the deadliest in the nation, with no consistent method of accountability.
  • Houston Chronicle: Prison denies inmates dentures

    One main story and two follow-ups on denture policy in Texas prisons.
  • CT Mirror: Inmate Health Care

    CT Mirror began looking into the multi-million contract to provide inmate health care after a female prisoner gave birth in her cell last year. It quickly became apparent the state was not providing adequate oversight of the care being provided to inmates at a time when state funding had been drastically reduced.
  • Alabama's "Beach House Sheriff"

    Over the past decade, Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin has turned the jail he operates in rural Alabama into a vehicle for his own enrichment. In 2018, AL.com investigative reporter Connor Sheets single-handedly exposed the pattern of exploitation and cost-cutting behind Entrekin’s financial success. This investigation revealed extensive wrongdoing by Entrekin, from improperly pocketing millions of dollars worth of public funds and mistreating inmates in his jail to spending public money on campaign ads and allegedly having sex with underage girls.
  • Colorado Jail TV Room Death: Guards 'Not Criminally Negligent'

    The story examines the Colorado First Judicial District Attorney's investigation into an inmate death in the Jefferson County Jail’s TV dayroom. Suzanne Burgaz, 55, hanged herself with a television cord, just as a patrol deputy was passing the dayroom on “walkthrough duty.”
  • Did Texas Prison Guards Drive Marinda Griggs to Kill Herself?

    This is a story focusing on criminal justice, and attempts by defense lawyers to better devise protections for the most vulnerable. And they believe that because of changing law – namely the Texas adoption of its Tort Claims Act – that now the misdeeds of public institutions and their employees will not go unchallenged.
  • Alabama's "Beach House Sheriff"

    Over the past decade, Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin has turned the jail he operates in rural Alabama into a vehicle for his own enrichment. In 2018, AL.com investigative reporter Connor Sheets single-handedly exposed the pattern of exploitation and cost-cutting behind Entrekin’s financial success. This investigation revealed extensive wrongdoing by Entrekin, from improperly pocketing millions of dollars worth of public funds and mistreating inmates in his jail to spending public money on campaign ads and allegedly having sex with underage girls.
  • Sick and Imprisoned

    This entry chronicles an investigation into the healthcare of inmates at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail, including the treatment of the mentally ill. It starts with the death of Henry Stewart, who was vomiting blood and begging for help from officials in the days before he died. The investigation goes on to detail how the jail treated inmates such as Jamycheal Mitchell, who died a year before Stewart, as well as the larger problems with how Virginia cares for the incarcerated and mentally ill.