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 "offenders" ...

  • 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.
  • Unintended Consequences: Sex Offenders in Motels & Hotels

    In a six-month investigation, NBC5 Investigates found 667 sex offenders living at 490 motels and hotels throughout Illinois and nine surrounding states. Though many check in to these motels for a few weeks or months at a time, we found that approximately half of these offenders stay there for at least six months or more – and sometimes for years. With few exceptions in just a handful of towns across the country, it is perfectly legal for any registered sex offender to take up residence at a hotel or motel. Often these offenders have few other places where they can legally reside – because they can’t live near parks or schools, which dot most residential areas. There’s also somewhat of a trend away from funding for halfway houses and mental health re-entry facilities, where these offenders might otherwise go.
  • TX Observer: Prison by Any Other Name

    Since the 1990s, Texas has run a controversial, constitutionally dubious “civil commitment” program that keeps hundreds of sex offenders in intensive monitoring and treatment long after they’ve finished their prison sentences. In 2015, after the agency running the program nearly imploded amid mismanagement, Texas lawmakers essentially turned civil commitment over to a scandal-ridden private prison contractor eager to gobble up contracts at the intersection of incarceration and therapy. The result: non-existent treatment, shoddy medical care, and a new taxpayer-funded, privately operated lockup in middle-of-nowhere Texas, where men under civil commitment are now confined indefinitely. Since the facility opened, only five men have been released — four of them to medical facilities where they later died.
  • Sex Offenders in Nursing Homes

    Our Fox 4 investigation discovered 200 registered sex offenders live in nursing homes, residential care facilities, and assisted living facilities in Missouri. Our statewide investigation revealed learned more than 95% of the offenders committed heinous crimes against children, including child molestation, aggravated sexual abuse, and sodomy. We learned Missouri law does not require these homes to disclose that registered sex offenders live in the facilities. There is also no state law requiring background checks on residents of these facilities.
  • LAST RESORT

    It was a difficult journey through the past for two men who were sent to a behaviour modification camp as young offenders in the 1970s. In fall 2018, Richard Yarema and Guy Dumas returned with APTN Investigates’ reporter Christopher Read to the fly-in facility operated by the Ranch Erhlo Society in northern Saskatchewan. The story chronicles the brief and violent history of “wilderness challenge” camps where the majority of campers were Indigenous.
  • IRW: The Boy on the Bus

    The Investigative Reporting Workshop found deep cracks in the registry system for sex offenders that allow predators to move, skip registration, and begin new lives under the radar in a new neighborhood — unless they are arrested again. The story was published with IowaWatch.
  • Houston Chronicle: Silent Spills

    A joint investigation by the two news organizations (Houston Chronicle and AP)found that industrial spills unleashed by Hurricane Harvey in Houston were far worse than publicly reported. Impacted citizens were kept in the dark about their size and seriousness. State and federal officials misled the public with repeated assurances that no health hazards existed. Six months after Harvey, Texas regulators had not announced a single enforcement action from 89 incidents investigated. Reporters from the Chronicle and AP filed dozens of records requests, unearthing long-hidden government-funded research and cross-referencing spill data collected from a hodgepodge of state and local agencies to determine the true scope of the damage. The vital watchdog role they performed highlighted a lack of will by Texas state regulators to effectively police the petrochemical industry. But its industry-friendly approach had weakened local efforts to build cases against the worst polluters, many of them repeat environmental offenders.
  • Labeled for Life

    “Labeled for Life”, a three-part investigative series, published by the Columbia Missourian in May of 2018, exposed and explored Missouri’s rigid sex offender laws months prior to a major legislative change that enabled some registrants to petition to be removed from the lifetime list. This local reporting project began as a class assignment and grew into a big national story that brought to light Missouri’s booming export of sex offenders to neighboring states where laws are not as stringent.
  • Second Chance City

    The District is the only place in nation with a law that gives leniency to young adult offenders who repeatedly commit violent crimes.
  • Solitary: Way Down in the Hole

    This four-part series exposed, for the first time, Minnesota’s heavy use of solitary confinement. By building a database and through prisoner interviews, we found more than 1,600 examples of inmates spending six months or longer in isolation over the past 10 years, and 437 instances of prisoners serving one year or longer. We documented more than 24,000 cases of inmates spending longer than 15 days in solitary—the time frame the United Nations defines as human torture. The series also showed how inmates come to prison with pre-existing mental illnesses and end up in isolation only to deteriorate mentally. The final installment told of the difficult path for inmates once they leave isolation. In more than 700 cases in the past six years alone, offenders left prison directly from solitary confinement.