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" ...

  • Michigan prison food privatization gone wrong

    Free Press Lansing bureau chief Paul Egan produced a series of exclusive reports on Michigan’s attempt to privatize prison food service and kept the heat up throughout 2014. His headlines included such stomach-turners as maggots found on meal lines, sex between Aramark employees and inmates, inmates served rotten meat, marijuana smuggling by an Aramark employee, growing inmate unrest -- even an Aramark worker who was suspected of trying to hire an inmate to kill another inmate. The stories prompted widespread revulsion and criticism of the contractor from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder – along with calls from Michigan lawmakers to cancel the three-year, $145 million Aramark contract.
  • DNAinfo.com New York

    DNAinfo New York reporters Rosa Goldensohn and James Fanelli investigated the private company contracted by New York City to provide health care for inmates in city jails. They uncovered poor medical treatment that led to inmate deaths.
  • The NRA’s Murder Mystery

    An investigation by Mother Jones reveals that Robert J. Dowlut--the National Rifle Association's general counsel--was convicted of murder and later released from prison due to bad police work. Dowlut went on to become a key architect of the gun lobby's effort to transform the legal interpretation of the Second Amendment. Dowlut has been an influential under-the-radar activist: he has written or co-written more than 25 amicus briefs on behalf of the NRA in state and federal cases.
  • Deaths in Detention

    This project was the first-ever analysis of 18 people who died in the custody of law enforcement agencies throughout Milwaukee County during the five-year period ending in 2012, not including suspects shot by police. At least 10 of them had medical or psychiatric conditions that were improperly monitored or left untreated by authorities. None of the 18 custody deaths resulted in criminal charges against an officer. Discipline was handed down in just two cases — both under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Department — and the punishment of many of the officers was overturned. The Journal Sentinel analysis found that in the aftermath of in-custody deaths, pathologists, prosecutors and law enforcement rely on each others’ conclusions — even when those conclusions are flawed — ensuring no one is held accountable when prisoners die.
  • Cruel and Unusual?

    In a five-month investigation, “Cruel and Unusual?,” the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism’s Bill Lueders identified 40 alleged instances of physical or severe psychological abuse by guards at one state prison, Waupun Correctional Institution. All of the incidents allegedly involved prisoners in the so-called segregation unit. Two-thirds of them involved a single correctional officer.
  • Korean CIA's Scandal- Spy Evidence Forgery

    From 2008 to 2014, the NIS (National Intelligence Service)has found and indicted 21 spies disguised as North Korean defectors, but the Korean Center for investigative Journalism’s investigation revealed there was no evidence of any spy activities for 2 of the spies indicted after 2012. This discovery led to exoneration of those two people. The KCIJ also discovered that the NIS had submitted fabricated evidence against Mr. Yoo Woo-sung to the court. After the KCIJ reported this discovery through an investigation in China, the Korean court contacted the Chinese government, which confirmed that the document was forged. The Korean prosecution indicted 4 NIS employees who were involved in the fabrication, who then, in turn, received prison sentences.
  • Death Inside San Carlos

    Two days after Chris Lopez walked out of a nine-and-a-half month stint in solitary confinement, the mentally ill inmate appeared catatonic on the floor of his cell inside one of the state's most notorious prisons. What happened next would lead to the firings of three corrections officers, yet for more than a year no one with the Colorado Department of Corrections would talk about it publicly. Through a confidential source, KUSA-TV obtained word of the details surrounding Lopez's death, and eventually obtained the video that forced the Colorado DOC to acknowledge a death inside San Carlos. Eventually, Colorado DOC handed out what amounts to the largest settlement in the history of the state's prison system.
  • Profiting from Prisoners: Time Is Money

    "Time Is Money" takes the audience inside prisons, vendors’ operations and families’ homes to reveal a growing structural inequity in society: As mass incarceration stretches corrections department budgets, prisons are cutting back on basic services like providing toilet paper, winter clothes and substance abuse counseling for inmates, forcing families to close the gap. They end up paying into a hidden pipeline of cash flowing directly from relatives’ pockets into a hidden, multi-billion dollar pipeline of cash -- facilitated by financial companies -- to the coffers of prisons and the vendors they employ.
  • Profiting from Prisoners

    "Profiting from Prisoners" is a multiplatform investigative project revealing how financial companies have become central players in a multi-billion dollar economy that shifts the costs of incarceration onto the families of prison inmates and helps private companies profit from these captive customers. The stories and documentary put human faces on a growing structural inequity in society: As mass incarceration stretches prison budgets, prisons are cutting back on basic services like providing toilet paper and winter clothes for inmates. Families are forced to close the gap by paying into a hidden, multi-billion dollar pipeline of cash – facilitated by financial companies – that flows directly from relatives’ pockets to the coffers of prisons and the vendors they employ. The series’ second major story, based on previously undisclosed government documents, detailed multi-year, no-bid contracts granted to Bank of America and JP Morgan to provide financial and other services in federal prisons.
  • Sins of the Family

    Arizona is a state not that far removed from the frontier. It is a place to which someone can move and establish themselves anew, a place where a boy can come for college, make a fortune in business, enter politics, and be elected governor, without having to talk about his past. In Doug Ducey's case, it was as if his life began when he first signed up for classes at Arizona State University. Ducey, the Republican who became Arizona governor in November, talked continually during his campaign about his Midwestern family values, but even under questioning, only provided scant details about his upbringing. The Toledo-reared Arizona state treasurer at the time never talked about his family, except to say his father was a police officer and his mother was a homemaker back home. In their report, headlined "Sins of the Family," Phoenix New Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting discovered that Ducey's maternal relatives made up a powerful, organized-crime family in Toledo, Ohio, some having served prison time for their crimes. Indeed, his uncle has fled to a Caribbean island to escape prosecution. To this day, Ducey has not talked about his maternal family's criminal endeavors, though his reluctant campaign confirmed the facts of New Times and CIR's report after it was published. The report established that his convicted maternal grandparents played a big role in his upbringing. While running for governor, he said repeatedly that they taught him the meaning of family. This is a story of obfuscation by a political candidate, who claimed that everything about him was transparent, not of political corruption, since no evidence was uncovered that candidate Ducey benefited financially from the family business.