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" ...

  • Juvenile Sexual Assaults Victims of Dr. William Ayres: The Forgotten Victims

    For forty years, hundreds of juveniles in San Mateo County, California were sexually assaulted in court-ordered sessions by prominent child psychiatrist Dr. William Ayres. But when the victims spoke out, they were either ignored or punished by authorities. It wasn’t until 2002, when journalist Victoria Balfour contacted police on behalf of one of Ayres’ victims, a private patient, that a criminal case against Ayres began to get traction. In 2013, Ayres, a former President of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, pleaded no contest to molesting boys who had been his private patients. He was sentenced to eight years in prison. However, Balfour had a fierce belief that the voices of his juvenile victims urgently needed to be heard in this case as well. When agencies in San Mateo County whose job it was to protect juveniles rebuffed her request to find the juvenile victims, Balfour embarked on a 3 and-a-half year project to find them herself. Working on a detective's theory that most of Ayres' juvenile victims were now in prison, she wrote to more than 300 inmates from San Mateo County and asked if they had been evaluated by Ayres. Balfour’s article recounts the horrifying and heartbreaking responses she received from inmates about their abuse by Dr. Ayres, one of the most prolific child molesters in recent California history.
  • How the Government Put Tens of Thousands of People at Risk of a Deadly Disease

    An in-depth investigation into valley fever in California prisons and how the state put tens of thousands of people at risk of a deadly disease. Major findings include evidence that the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation did little to mitigate the problem, ignored data and internal reports suggesting the disease affected people of color more seriously and quashed a federal study of the epidemic within state prisons.
  • 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/
  • Facebook Posts Lead to Gang Conspiracy Charges

    Voice of San Diego managing editor Sara Libby revealed how San Diego's district attorney tried to send a local resident named Aaron Harvey to prison for the rest of his life for a shooting that prosecutors and everyone else admitted he didn't commit. Instead, the district attorney said his Facebook posts showed he should be held responsible for the crime through a novel interpretation of the state's gang conspiracy laws. After Libby's reporting, the case against Harvey was thrown out and the DA vowed never to use similar charges again.
  • Mexican Mafia Killer and the LAPD

    This series started off with a tip: Los Angeles police were bringing a high-profile criminal to a private business event in downtown L.A. That criminal turned out to be Rene "Boxer" Enriquez, a former shot-caller for the Mexican Mafia sentenced to life in prison for two killings. That the LAPD would use public resources to bring him to a private event was only the first surprise — we soon learned Enriquez had a cozy relationship with law enforcement officials and was set to be paroled. We spent weeks digging into his background, contacting the children of one of his victims, interviewing people who knew him, reading court records and transcripts outlining his crimes. The reporting by The Times ultimately prompted two investigations by the LAPD, including one into a high-profile deputy chief. The governor also decided to deny Enriquez parole and keep him behind bars.
  • Tech Behind Bars

    "Tech Behind Bars" is a deeply reported, multi-media three-part examination of the growing intersection of the corrections system and the technology industry. Part 1, "Inside the prison system’s illicit digital world," explores the growing problem of smartphone smuggling inside federal and state prisons, and reveals dozens of social media profiles of inmates currently serving time in several states, many of whom were using the internet illicitly from their cells. Part 2, "After years behind bars, can prisoners re-enter a digital society?", explores what happens to inmates after they're released from length prison stays, and are forced into a world and a job market that expects them to have familiarity with the tools of the digital age, and profiles Code 7370, a program at San Quentin State Prison that is equipping inmates with computer skills in preparation for their re-entry. Part 3, "Can technology and prisons get along?", is an examination of the growing number of attempts to integrate modern technology into correctional facilities, through the lens of the Napa County Jail, which is giving tablets to its inmates in attempt to keep them up to speed with the digital revolution.
  • 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/
  • Frequent Flyers of Rikers Island

    In November of 2015, WNYC aired The Frequent Flyers of Rikers Island. It’s a story that puts a human face on recidivism and questions the effectiveness of a criminal justice system that jails low level offenders over and over without any deterrent effect.
  • From Patients to Prisoners

    From Patients to Prisoners initially was pegged to the 10-year anniversary of the closing of Harrisburg State Hospital and the desire to find out the effects of its removal from the state system. What it turned into was a broader look at how those with serious mental illnesses in this country are marginalized and how, more specifically, thousands of seriously mentally ill people are imprisoned in correctional facilities that often do more to aggravate their conditions than treat them. http://topics.pennlive.com/tag/patients-to-prisoners/
  • Not So Securus: Massive Hack of 70 Million Prisoner Phone Calls Indicates Violations of Attorney-Client Privilege

    The Intercept obtained a massive database of leaked phone records belonging to prison telecom giant Securus Technologies — accessed by an anonymous hacker and submitted to The Intercept via SecureDrop. By analyzing its contents, “Not So Securus” provided an unprecedented illustration of the sheer scale of phone surveillance of detainees within the criminal justice system, revealing how such monitoring has gone far beyond the stated goal of ensuring the security of prison facilities to compromise the privacy of inmates and their loved ones — and potentially violate the confidential communications guaranteed to prisoners and their lawyers.