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 "prison" ...

  • Prison Scandal

    In June, The World-Herald reported that prison officials had misapplied state law in setting inmates’ release dates, resulting in hundreds of the state’s worst criminals being released too soon. The errors occurred despite two Nebraska Supreme Court rulings over a 10-year period spelling out how to correctly calculate the release dates. That report turned out to be the first of several related prison scandals that the newspaper would uncover over the next several months.
  • Dying for Care

    Handing off Florida prison inmate care to for-profit health companies was designed to deliver millions in taxpayer savings beginning in 2012. But for inmates, it came with cold-blooded consequences, a six-month Palm Beach Post investigation found: soaring fatalities, brutally indifferent medical treatment and a corrections bureaucracy and billion-dollar corporation which withheld crucial data on inmate deaths and negligent care.
  • Using Jailed Migrants as a Pool of Cheap Labor

    The U.S. government is the nation's single largest employer of undocumented immigrants. This was the startling discovery of a 7-month investigation into a little-known program that allows the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to employ these immigrants and pay them a $1 a day or less to perform most of the jobs running the 250 federal immigration detention centers around the country. This finding was even more striking considering the number of undocumented workers involved -- more than 60,000 per year -- and the amount of money the federal government saves and private prison companies make (at least $40 million annually) as a direct result of being allowed to pay these people so far below the minimum wage, or about 13 cents per hour.
  • UNTREATED: How Ignoring Mental Illness Costs Us All

    This devastating Rocky Mountain PBS I-News series examined the state of behavioral health care in Colorado. The costs of untreated mental illnesses in the state run into the billions of dollar each year, factoring in emergency medical expenses, lost wages, disability payments, and the price of housing the mentally ill in county jails and state prisons, among other quantifiable numbers. As big as the financial burdens of untreated mental illness are, the personal costs are greater. In Colorado, people with mental illnesses are more than five times as likely to be in jail or in prison than in a hospital treatment bed. For rural Coloradans, mental health services can be hundreds of miles away, or simply put, unavailable. In a state that has suffered mass shooting tragedies rooted in mental illness, intervention is still exceedingly difficult, and the series explores the reasons why.
  • The False 48: How A&E's The First 48 Makes Millions While Imprisoning Innocents

    This investigation scrutinized one of television’s most-watched reality crime programs, The First 48. It exposed how the show’s conceit of solving a murder within 48 hours forces police to rush through investigations and led to the false imprisonment of at least 15 Miami men and others across the nation. Drawing from dozens of interviews and thousands of pages of court documents and police records, the investigation delivered a damning indictment of a program that profits immensely off high viewership — while exploiting some of the nation’s most disadvantaged populations: poor, urban, African American youths.
  • Crime In Punishment

    The story comes from a 1 1/2 year long investigation into Tennessee prisons, where WSMV found such corruption and outrageous behavior inside the state penal system that lawmakers, a district attorney, former employees and crime victims feel that crimes were committed during the punishment of criminals. The investigation led to the disciplinary actions on more than 70 inmates, a criminal investigation by the TBI, a criminal conviction of a guard and a legislative hearing. The investigation initially began by showing the outrageous behavior of criminals inside prison, and expanded to expose the state deleting records of assaults on guards and inmates and medical neglect of female inmates.
  • A death in restraints after ‘standard procedure’

    The series revealed the needless deaths of three mental health patients at Bridgewater State Hospital, a medium-security state prison for men who have come in contact with the criminal justice system, due to the use of four-point restraints. The series also raised questions about the decision by a district attorney to not pursue criminal charges in one of those deaths, even though it was ruled a homicide. In addition, the series exposed the systemic, illegal use of isolation and four-point restraints -- strapping a patient’s wrists and ankles to a bed -- at a time when officials at similar institutions in other states were sharply reducing their reliance on these tactics, finding that they are physically dangerous and psychologically harmful.
  • Prison Problems

    AL.com spent 2014 digging into Alabama's prison problems, interviewing hundreds of people involved in the system, poring through medical contracts and salaries and discipline records and staffing reports and lawsuits and internal investigative files and much more. They began by announcing what we were going to do. Then they began reporting, occasionally sharing process updates on records requests and reporting milestones. At times they asked readers what they wanted to know, who they wanted to hear from, what they thought of official responses. AL.com solicited reader experiences inside prisons and received hundreds of responses to build a database of potential sources and continued with classic reporting, speaking to all sides, examining records, finding out what went wrong, who was profiting, finding prison doctors who lost licenses for sleeping with patients, wardens who were promoted after beating inmates.
  • The Informant

    A former FBI informant goes public and takes KMOV deep inside a federal corruption investigation. the documentary uses previously unreleased wiretaps and undercover FBI video to show how the informant collected the evidence required to send a local mayor, police chief and streets superintendent to prison. The KMOV investigation digs deeper. It delves into the personal story of the informant and show how he used his personal relationship with the mayor to gain his confidence. In addition, KMOV obtained copies of FBI field reports that were not public documents and not presented in court. These reports showed that information provided by the informant was often wrong, though the informant insisted he provided the information required to obtain convictions. The KMOV investigation also discovered that the informant was hired as an auxillary officer and never obtained the certification required to become an officer.
  • The Jihad Next Door: The Syrian Roots of Iraq’s Newest Civil War

    This is the first story to investigate and map out in detail how Al-Qaeda established a foothold in Syria after the start of the Syrian uprising in March 2011. It explains how the group now known as Islamic State used the Syrian conflict like an incubator, to rejuvenate, recruit and draw human and material resources to its base in Iraq via Syria. The story explains how the under-equipped, poorly organized moderate rebels lost ground to the increasingly influential Jabhat al-Nusra; how the West watched as a new, reformed and ultimately more dangerous version of Al-Qaeda quickly rose in Syria and reduced the space for others to operate in. Among its major findings, the piece lays bare how the Syrian government's release of jailed Islamists from its notorious Sednaya prison early in the revolution provided a ready-made network for Al-Qaeda to exploit.