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 "mentally ill" ...

  • The Marshall Project and USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee: Too Sick for Jail — But Not for Solitary

    “Too Sick for Jail — But Not for Solitary” revealed for the first time the devastating toll of Tennessee’s “safekeeper” law that puts people in solitary confinement who are mentally ill, pregnant or juveniles despite not being convicted of any crime — and sparked prompt changes to the state’s 150-year-old law.
  • RMPBS "Insight with John Ferrugia" - "Imminent Danger"

    This project examines the issue of killings by mentally ill persons with access to guns. The story is told through the eyes of a mother whose mentally ill son murdered a sheriff’s deputy and wounded four others, and of the Sheriff whose deputy died. Both agree the confrontation could have been avoided if only state law allowed earlier intervention when a mentally ill person with access to guns is spinning out of control. Both did everything possible to head off the crisis, but had no legal tools to prevent it. The project also includes an exclusive interview with the parents of Aurora Theater killer James Holmes who explain they simply did not recognize the warning signs that their son was mentally ill and capable of homicide. They hold themselves responsible for their son’s mass murder.
  • 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.
  • A Cry for Help

    The trend was unmistakable. Minnesotans who were suicidal or otherwise having a mental health crisis were dying in confrontations with police. The Star Tribune decided to go beyond the anecdotes and develop the first comprehensive database of individuals killed after encounters with police in Minnesota. An exhaustive analysis of death certificate data, news accounts, police reports and other records revealed a powerful statistic: 45 percent of those who died in forceful encounters with police were in crisis or had a history of mental illness. The number was even more stark for 2015: nine of 13 killed fell into that category. The Star Tribune multimedia project “A Cry for Help” showed the collision of a broken mental health system with law enforcement, the responders of last resort. While questions of police conduct and use of force have revolved around race, one advocacy group estimated that mentally ill people are 16 times more likely to die in a police encounter than others. Our team faced the challenge of how to tell this story in a fresh and engaging way. They did it by obtaining extraordinary access to individuals: A cop who had killed two people, each of whom threatened him amid their mental breakdowns. The mother of a young mentally ill man killed by police who now advocates for better training. A man who tried to commit suicide by cop whose survival demonstrates how these situations don’t have to end in tragedy. These narratives were enhanced by hard-fought access to dozens of police case files that included powerful police video footage of a St. Paul standoff in 2015. The project also quantified, for the first time, the stories of every person who died in an encounter with police since 2000, and that database is now continually updated on the Star Tribune website.
  • Mental Health and Policing

    Stories on mental health and policing seekt to bring attention to the concern raised by advocates of the mentally ill—that police officers are often ill-equipped to handle calls for people in mental distress. It’s estimated as many as half of fatal police encounters involve people in mental health crisis. Over the course of several months, WBAL told the stories of 3 young men, shot and killed by police in suburban Maryland counties. In each case, a mental health history was involved. WBAL revealed the lack of uniform training and consistent use of crisis intervention teams. Without better effort to equip police, as first responders, a call to 911 can lead to a tragic result.
  • The Desperate and the Dead

    The Globe Spotlight Team documented tragic failings of the Massachusetts mental health care system, revealing for the first time that more than 10 percent of all homicides in the state are committed by people with a serious, treatable mental illness, and that nearly 50 percent of those fatally shot by police are suicidal, mentally ill, or showing clear signs of a mental health crisis. https://apps.bostonglobe.com/spotlight/the-desperate-and-the-dead/
  • Mental Health and Policing

    Our stories on mental health and policing sought to bring attention to the concern raised by advocates of the mentally ill—that police officers are often ill-equipped to handle calls for people in mental distress. It’s estimated as many as half of fatal police encounters involve people in mental health crisis. Over the course of several months, we told the stories of 3 young men, shot and killed by police in suburban Maryland counties. In each case, a mental health history was involved. We revealed the lack of uniform training and consistent use of crisis intervention teams. Without better effort to equip police, as first responders, a call to 911 can lead to a tragic result. http://www.wbaltv.com/article/mental-health-and-policing/8566410
  • Rape Victim Jailed: Jenny's Story

    A mentally ill rape victim who had a breakdown on the witness stand while testifying against her attacker was thrown in jail by the Harris County District Attorney's Office for nearly a month. Prosecutors worried she would not return weeks later to complete her testimony. The prosecutor’s conduct and the abuse the rape victim was subjected to in jail was exposed by the reporters. The reporters exposed a series of mistakes by jail staff that further victimized the woman. The outrage and fallout from their reporting quickly became the central campaign issue in the race for Harris County District Attorney between incumbent Devon Anderson and challenger Kim Ogg. On election night, Ogg defeated Anderson by a 7 point margin and cited the “Jenny” story as the defining issue of the campaign in her acceptance speech. Ogg fired the prosecutor who handled the case and started a new sex crimes unit to protect victims and witnesses. State senators on both sides of the aisle filed new legislation for the 2017 session to mandate legal representation for witnesses held on bonds for their testimony, a statewide solution to the problem the reporters exposed.
  • The Final Days of Michael Kerr

    The death of inmate Michael Kerr by dehydration in 2014 ignited a barrage of activity in the state's corrections system and raised questions about prisoner treatment that reached the chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly more than a year later. Hundreds of pages of court documents pieced together the mentally ill veteran’s last hours in solitary confinement at a remote state prison, ignored and dismissed by an overworked corrections staff. http://www.wral.com/one-year-later-inmate-s-death-looms-over-prison-mental-health-debate/14506834/ http://www.wral.com/news/state/asset_gallery/14731191/
  • 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.