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" ...

  • Collapse into chaos

    This entry includes investigative stories written by AP reporter Alberto Arce over a 22-month period chronicling Honduras’s collapse into chaos in the aftermath of a coup in 2009. Arce’s stories uncovered government-sanctioned death squads, the violation of U.S. protocols in the shooting deaths of civilians by forces trained and vetted by the U.S., human rights abuses in prisons, and the general corruption and impunity among police and military forces.
  • Guilty & Gone

    In America’s most dangerous city, a WXYZ-TV investigation revealed a systemic problem in Michigan’s largest court: what amounts to a “get out of jail free” card for criminals guilty of attempted murder, armed robbery, rape, peddling drugs and assaulting police officers. These reports have prompted lawmakers to consider changes to state law.
  • Private Prisons

    The Palm Beach Post uncovered a little-understood aspect of Florida’s criminal justice system running roughshod over taxpayers and inmates alike. Against a backdrop of state-approved secrecy, documents detailing security lapses and basic prison operations were routinely hidden from public view.
  • Corruption at Juvenile Prisons

    Chris Kirkham exposes the corruption at juvenile for-profit prisons, boot camps and detention centers. From condoning abuse of inmates to neglect to corruption we'll hear firsthand stories from those on the inside.
  • Prisoners of Profit

    HuffPost Business reporter Chris Kirkham exposes the corruption at juvenile for-profit prisons, boot camps and detention centers. From condoning abuse of inmates to neglect to corruption, Kirkham uncovers firsthand stories from those on the inside.
  • Special Report: Florence Report

    “Florence Exposed” is a three-part Phoenix New Times investigative series by Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons that demonstrates how small-town political corruption had tragic consequences in the Arizona prison city of Florence. The events described in “Florence Exposed” were developed after a tip from Phoenix NAACP leader Oscar Tillman, who trusted the alternative newspaper above all other Phoenix-area media to investigate what he had been told by a Florence police officer about politically influenced corruption within the city department. The officer and his partner – by that time fired for trying to find out what really happened in a child's slaying and a teenager's alleged rape – then turned over records to the paper that were at the core of the reporting. By demonstrating how the department, either purposely or through gross ineptitude, botched the investigations of these crimes, Phoenix New Times laid the groundwork for what should be a police-misconduct probe by state or federal authorities – if officials in Arizona could be trusted to do the right thing.
  • Abuse in G4S' prison exposed in South Africa

    Global security firm G4S runs a prison for profit in Bloemfontein, South Africa. I work for the Wits Justice Project, a collective of investigative journalists who research the criminal justice system. I visited the prison for the first time in September 2012 and talked to some of the inmates who had written to us. Their tales were worrying; they complained about the ‘Ninjas’; the Emergency Security Team (EST), a group of about eight armed men who are called to emergency situations. They are supposed to use minimum force, but according to the prisoners, they went completely overboard. They would take prisoners to the single cell unit, strip them naked, pour water over them and electroshock them with the electronically charged shields they carry with them. Also, the inmates told me how they would be injected forcibly with anti-psychotic drugs, while some of them did not suffer from any mental illness. In addition, they spoke to me about very lengthy isolation, some were placed in isolation cells for up to three years, I spoke to approximately 70 inmates and 25 warders over a period of a year, but these three sources were most crucial: The general. One of the inmates, a general in one of the infamous prison gangs, supplied with me dossiers and names of inmates who had been electroshocked, forcibly injected or placed in isolation for unlawful periods (up to 3 years). The deep throat. A government official who had worked at the prison was very concerned and had written a report in 2009 listing 62 inmates who had been placed in isolation up to 3 years, some of whom had been denied life saving TB and HIV medication. he also compared the prison to Guantanamo bay and mentioned excessive electroshocking The freedom fighter. A warder and informal labour union leader was very helpful in providing an entry with other warders and he leaked interesting information. An anonymous source eventually provided the smoking gun: video and audio footage of a forced injection and audio of electro shocking. I wrote three main stories about the prison and chose to publish in South Africa as well as in the UK, as G4S is head quartered there. I wrote pieces for the South African Citypress and the Mail and Guardian, simultaneously running a story in the British Guardian. When I finally broke the big story on the electroshocks and the forced injections, I also worked closely with the BBC and the South African investigative tv programme Carte Blanche, I provided them access to the results of my year-long research and they produced tv items that were broadcast at the same time as my stories ran in the newspapers. This in turn led to a worldwide coverage of the issue.
  • Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief.

    An investigation of the history and practices of the Church of Scientology. IRE Award Judges’ comments: Wright's investigation of the Church of Scientology is groundbreaking in its examination of one of the most well-known, but secretive religion organizations in the world. He draws on previously secret documents-- including internal works of the church's founder L. Ron Hubbard--interviews with former and current members of the church and hundreds of court records to present a hard- hitting, but balanced view of church and its followers. The book shines a light on the church's harsh treatment of those who try to leave, but also highlights those, including some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, who have benefited from its teachings. The book also explores the complicated biography of the church's founder and its relationship with its most famous member, actor Tom Cruise. Despite threats from the church, which is known of its aggressive defense of of its works and members, this work provides the best understanding of Scientology to date.
  • When lies lead to wrongful convictions

    The story follows the case of Sammy Hadaway, a 38-year-old Milwaukee man who suffers from brain damage, cerebral palsy and epilepsy. In 1996, Hadaway testified against his friend Chaunte Ott in a high-profile murder case, claiming that both had played a part in Jessica Payne’s death. Due in large part to Hadaway’s testimony, Ott was convicted of the murder and was sentenced to a lifelong prison term. Hadaway was convicted of a lesser charge in exchange for his cooperation.
  • Colorado's Failing Parole System

    A father of three, gunned down for his pizza delivery uniform. That uniform is then used in the murder of Colorado’s Prisons Chief, shot and killed when he answered his front door. The man who carried out the killings: a career criminal on parole. A series of Call7 Breaking News Investigations uncovers the catastrophic failure of Colorado’s parole division. Failures that allowed a parolee identified as high risk and assigned a specially trained officer, to commit murder- twice. A parolee absconder who Call7 Investigator Theresa Marchetta uncovered committed both murders while “off the grid” as parole officers at all levels ignored critical alerts he was on the run for nearly a week. Marchetta holds officials accountable for the fatal oversights that took place. Her investigations led to immediate and long-term meaningful changes at the Colorado Department of Corrections, including a new policy requiring officers to respond to ankle bracelet tamper alerts, new equipment for parole officers, legislative hearings and a change in leadership at the parole division.