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 "jails" ...

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Virginian-Pilot: Jailed in Crisis

    In a first-of-it’s-kind investigation, the Virginian-Pilot tracked down more than 400 cases across the country in which people with mental illness died in jails, documenting the scope of a tragedy that’s been unfolding for decades: too many people are being jailed instead of treated and many are dying in horrific ways and under preventable circumstances. The series goes on to detail how so many people ended up in jails because of a lack of mental health services and how some municipalities are finding ways to get them into treatment. The investigation prompted long-delayed action by the U.S. Justice Department to address the conditions for people with mental illness in the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth, Virginia.
  • Presumed Innocent, Found Dead - Tracking Jail Deaths Since Sandra Bland

    A team of HuffPost reporters and data journalists created a first-of-its-kind database of more than 800 jail deaths in the U.S., identified problem jails and produced months of follow-ups, including a feature-length investigation that revealed that many jail suicides are preventable and occur in the first 72 hours after booking.
  • Locked Up For Being Poor In South Carolina Jails

    An analysis of bond data from multiple sources shows poor defendants who struggle to pay a cash bond spend more time in jail before trail and are more likely to be convicted of a crime or plead guilty than those who have the means to post bond. http://wspa.com/2016/05/05/locked-up-for-being-poor-in-south-carolina-jails/
  • Trouble Behind Bars

    A KyCIR investigation found preventable county jail deaths that provoked little to no follow-up, as well as failures at all levels of government. Not even the state Department of Corrections knows who is dying in county jails, and why. https://soundcloud.com/wfplnews/rg-dunlop-on-the-cost-of-jail-abuse-and-misconduct https://soundcloud.com/wfplnews/rg-dunlop-on-former-grant-co-jailer-terry-peeples/s-i3QFO https://soundcloud.com/wfplnews/trouble-behind-bars-when-jail-deaths-go-unnoticed https://soundcloud.com/wfplnews/remedies-rare-for-grant-countys-dangerous-jail https://soundcloud.com/wfplnews/cascade-of-failures-lead-to-25-year-olds-death-in-grant-county-jail
  • Only in Kentucky: Jailers Without Jails

    Reporters R.G. Dunlop and Jacob Ryan revealed that more than a third of the state's 120 counties elect jailers that have no jails to oversee. Several earn hefty paychecks for little work, putting their cash-strapped counties in a pickle, and hire their own spouses or children as deputies. Only in Kentucky does this curious practice exist. https://soundcloud.com/wfplnews/only-in-kentucky-jailers-without-jails
  • Locked In Limbo

    An Argus Leader Media investigation found that South Dakota routinely jails mentally ill defendants for half a year or more without trial because of scheduling delays for court-ordered mental competency evaluations.
  • Frequent Flyers of Rikers Island

    In November of 2015, WNYC aired The Frequent Flyers of Rikers Island. It’s a story that puts a human face on recidivism and questions the effectiveness of a criminal justice system that jails low level offenders over and over without any deterrent effect.
  • The Louisiana State Penitentiary Where inmates aren't the only scoundrels

    Burl Cain was America’s most famous jailer. Writers and filmmakers flocked to the remote Louisiana State Penitentiary in West Feliciana Parish to tell the story of how he had cleaned up the most violent jail in America. But there was more to the story. For two decades, Cain profited from his access to powerless inmates and his ability to dispense favors small and large. The Advocate launched an investigation, and after the first story was published, Cain quit his job, hoping that would stop the questions. He was wrong.