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 "juvenile court" ...

  • Baseball player promoted to varsity after sexually abusing child

    After receiving a tip, WJHL asked a juvenile court judge in Virginia to release court records related to a sex abuse case. They knew they had a shot securing the records after conferring with an open records expert. After all, the records involved serious felonies. The judge released the records after discussing the issue with the Virginia Supreme Court. The records confirmed exactly what we suspected. In the end, the investigation uncovered a legal and school system failure that allowed two baseball players to remain on the team and at school after sexually abusing their 11-year-old neighbor during an off-campus campout. The investigation prompted the court clerk to apologize and the school to take action against the boys.
  • Prison Kids: America’s Crime Against Children

    The Prison Kids documentary and 16 accompanying digital pieces offer an in-depth view of a system hidden from most Americans -- juvenile courts and prisons. The film and digital series offers a wide-reaching yet nuanced portrait of a dysfunctional system that regularly harms the kids it’s meant to help. http://fusion.net/series/prison-kids/
  • Mass. courts fail to shield juveniles in holding areas

    Since Sept. 2010, Massachusetts has been in violation of a federal law requiring courthouses to protect juveniles from being verbally abused or threatened by adult inmates in courthouse holding areas. This has resulted in annual penalties that slashed about $500,000 in grant money intended for at-risk youth and intervention programs in the Massachusetts juvenile justice system. It’s a problem that will cost $1.34 million to fix 11 “high priority” courts, as Massachusetts officials sought — and failed to receive — a waiver from those penalties from the Justice Department.
  • Harsh Treatment

    In Illinois, hundreds of juvenile state wards are assaulted and raped by their peers each year at taxpayer-funded residential treatment centers as authorities fail to act on reports of harm and continue sending waves of youths to the most violent facilities, the Tribune's "Harsh Treatment" investigation found. Prostitution becomes a fact of life at facilities where experienced residents introduce others to pimps, escort websites and street corners. And thousands of kids flee to the streets, where some sold drugs and sex to survive and others broke into homes and mugged passers-by. Dozens have never been found. The reporters gathered thousands of pages of highly protected juvenile case files, successfully petitioned the Cook County juvenile court for access to delinquency files and through relentless FOIA appeals pried free police and state monitoring reports on violent incidents inside the facilities.
  • Assault victim's tweets prompt contempt case

    For 17-year-old Savannah Dietrich, it was like being victimized twice – first by the two boys who sexually assaulted her while she was passed out and then sent photos of the assault to their friends; secondly, by a secretive juvenile justice system that appeared more interested in protecting her attackers than her. Frustrated by what she felt was a lenient plea bargain for her two attackers, Savannah lashed out on Twitter – despite a judge’s warning that no one should talk about the incident because the case was in juvenile court. "There you go, lock me up," Savannah tweeted, as she named the boys who she said sexually assaulted her. "I'm not protecting anyone that made my life a living Hell." Though threatened with contempt of court, Savannah refusal to stay quiet, and her decision to talk publicly to Courier-Journal reporter Jason Riley resulted in a series of stories that drew national attention and helped pry the lid off Kentucky’s secretive juvenile courts – potentially opening more cases in the future to ensure justice is done.
  • Homicide 37

    Of the 179 homicides in New Orleans during 2007, the Times-Picayune explored the city's high murder rate through the thirty seventh murder of the year. The story examines the failed justice system from the perspectives of the detectives, the suspect and the family of the victim.
  • Little Court of Horrors

    This investigation examined how well juvenile courts handle child protection matters and how the children, whose plight has just recently become a matter of public record, are faring. The investigation found that the reform intended to strengthen the state's child protection system has dramatically increased the rate at which children are being taken from their parents ---permanently. The law was intended to fast-track cases, but it does not allow the time or provide the services families need to address the matters that landed them in court to begin with.
  • Juvenile Justice: A Secret World

    This investigation looks into the juvenile justice system of Kentucky and secrecy laws intended to protect juvenile offenders and help them transition back into society. The series questions whether or not these secrecy laws are protecting the juvenile offenders or injuring the community by not revealing juvenile sex offenders and those convicted of violent acts. The investigation also analyzes whether funds spent on rehabilitating the youth has been worth it.
  • Juvenile Court Journal; Open Court Stories; Selena Underwood Stories

    This series of stories represents the "culmination of years of work" by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Barbara White Stack to "crusade for open hearing in juvenile court." Stack "came to believe secret hearing regarding abused and neglected children precluded comprehensive coverage of the issues....These stories show that getting access is possible, in addition to illustrating what is possible when access is denied." The system turned out to be fraught with problems, and the Post-Gazette challenged the secrecy rules in court -- ultimately prevailing when they won their appeal in Pennsylvania Superior Court, effectively opening the state's juvenile court system to the public and the press.
  • With Juvenile Justice Courts in Chaos, Critics Propose Their Demise

    With Juvenile Courts in shambles, some scholars propose an end to the system. to back up their claims, critics point to a records system so antiquated that ti cannot possibly be accurate, and judges, lawyers, and other courtroom staff unprepared for the sheer number of cases they must deal with daily.