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 "justice system" ...

  • Trading Away Justice

    Guilty pleas have become the go-to solution for the nation’s overburdened courts. They account for nine of every 10 convictions in the United States. But our near-total reliance on plea bargaining has created a parallel justice system -- one without the constitutional safeguards of trials, that operates largely in secret and with little oversight. Through case studies and data analysis, “Trading Away Justice” documents how even innocent defendants are being pressured into pleading guilty.
  • Reuters: Immigration under Trump

    Over the last two years, the Trump administration has driven rapid and unprecedented change to the United States immigration system, implementing tougher apprehension, prosecution and detention policies for migrants who come to the country illegally. Reuters has stayed ahead of policy changes, often breaking exclusive news before official announcements. We have also used data to expose where administration policies have failed and to highlight inequities in the system. In these stories, we have relied heavily on a Department of Justice database known as the Case Management System. Reuters obtains the data set, which is used by the DOJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review to schedule all court appearances, through monthly Freedom of Information Act requests.
  • NationSwell: Forgotten Victims

    An investigation by NationSwell looked at county data in six states — Arizona, New Jersey, Louisiana, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas — which showed that thousands of families are denied compensation each year because of the contributory conduct clause. Regulators involved in processing claims say they are just following federal law and that there needs to be top-down change in order for there to be significant progress on the best way to assist financially strapped families. But one victim services group, Every Murder Is Real, based in Philadelphia — i.e. the city with the highest number of compensation claims filed each year in Pennsylvania — is helping families navigate the system and fight for their right to fair treatment.
  • WEWS-TV: Evading Justice

    The Ohio sex offender registry is supposed to help keep the public safe by providing access to information about convicts who have committed serious sexual offenses. But our extensive six-month-long investigation uncovered a loophole used by prosecutors and judges in one of the largest counties in the state that results in many accused rapists evading the registry. We found oftentimes the justice system allows suspects charged with rape to plead down to lesser and even completely unrelated charges – in a three-year period, there were more than 100 accused rapists who pleaded guilty to abduction, assault and endangering children, which allowed them to avoid registering as sex offenders. We also found many of those same defendants went on to be charged with another sexual offense after they evaded the registry, showing how this practice can put the public at risk.
  • WCPO: DNA Delay

    A tip from a rape victim leads WCPO Investigative Reporter Hillary Lake to uncover a DNA testing delay at the Kentucky State Crime Lab affecting thousands of new criminal cases, from assaults to rapes to murders, waiting on results to move forward in the justice system. The investigation leads to action from the Kentucky attorney general.
  • The Marshall Project and Los Angeles Times: The Great California Prison Experiment

    The Great California Prison Experiment examines the impacts on public safety of the state’s criminal justice reform measures that dramatically reduced the prison population.
  • Star Tribune: Denied Justice

    “Denied Justice” documented widespread failings in how Minnesota’s criminal justice system investigated and prosecuted sexual assault cases, depriving victims of justice, endangering the public and allowing rapists to go unpunished.
  • SB Tribune/ProPublica: Criminal Justice in Elkhart, Indiana

    Reports by the South Bend Tribune and ProPublica revealed deep flaws and abuses of power in the criminal justice system in Elkhart, Indiana -- from new revelations in the wrongful convictions of two innocent men, to the promotions of police supervisors with serious disciplinary records, to the mishandling of police misconduct cases -- and led to the resignation of the police chief, an independent investigation of the department and criminal charges against two officers.
  • NBCLA: Pepper Spray Use Skyrockets at Juvenile Hall

    The use of pepper spray by probation officers at Los Angeles County juvenile halls and camps has skyrocketed over the last few years, prompting an investigation and raising concerns as similar agencies across the country are banning pepper spray use, citing health concerns.
  • L.A. Times: How California Law Shielded Dishonest Cops

    For decades, California’s strict police privacy laws made it nearly impossible for anyone to find out basic information about police officer misconduct. A team of Los Angeles Times reporters spent months investigating the impact of this secrecy on the criminal justice system. They found that officers caught for dishonesty and other serious wrongdoing were able to continue testifying in court without prosecutors, defendants, judges and jurors ever finding out about their past. Countless defendants were convicted based on the testimony of these officers. Published at the height of a political debate over making police records public, the stories helped galvanize support to change state law and open up some records about officer misconduct, which had been kept confidential for 40 years.