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 "prisoners" ...

  • Death on the installment plan; To die inside

    Prendergast reports on flaws of the medical care system in prisons. The investigation finds that "on the average, prisoners die at a much younger age than the general population;" hepatitis C is the primary cause of death in Colorado prisons; and there is a growing number of lawsuits over "substandard care and outright neglect."
  • The Unreturned

    An examination of the fate of American combatants secretly taken into the Soviet Union during the Korean War.
  • The War Crimes of Afghanistan

    Newsweek reveals that, in Nov. 2001, "America's Afghan allies suffocated hundreds of surrendering Taliban prisoners in sealed cargo containers." Although surrendered fighters were killed by a regional warlord, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, the investigative team finds evidence that American soldiers had advanced knowledge of the killings or participated in them. The story has been mostly based on a confidential U.N. report on the killings, as well as investigations into a mass grave site.
  • Prison addicts: On Dope Row

    Insight reports on inmates' deaths caused by drug overdoses in state prisons. The story finds that at least 188 prisoners died during the last decade; state prisons lack aggressive and competent drug screening policies; and states are not required to track the number of fatal drug overdoses or confiscated drugs cases. Meanwhile, administrators deny that their prisons have a drug problem.
  • A Broken Code

    This story looks at a top-secret intelligence unit within the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum (ADX) prison and examines claims that prisoners in the program exaggerate their gang status and knowledge of criminal activity within ADX to curry favor and win extraordinary privileges. The unit was supposed to benefit authorities by providing them with information from inmate snitches about criminal activities going on both inside and outside the prison.The snitches were to provide information on fellow gang members and corrupt prison staff and detail how they obtained weapons or passed messages inside the prison. But at least one ADX prisoner claims inmate snitches in the program manipulated prison staff and lied about innocent people to win special privileges.
  • Fight Club

    Prison guards in the Florence federal penitentary administered beatings on prisoners and then blamed it all on the inmates. A two-year investigation by the US Justice Department discovered that the group of 12 guards, known as the Cowboys, dispensed their own brand of justice for over 18 months.
  • Death in Prison: Punishing the Mentally Ill

    An investigation by the Poughkeepsie Journal revealed that 32 percent of suicides by inmates occured while they were housed in "The Box". But only 4.4 percent of inmates are housed there. Many "Box" inmates had "lenghty histories of mental illness; prison officials were routinely faulted for providing inadequate care prior to deaths."
  • Sick in Secret: The Hidden World of Prison Health Care

    The American-Statesmen reports on the health care failures of the Texas prison system. The series reveals that - even though the state has hired the University of Texas' medical school to provide care for sick convicts for $297 million a year - the prisons continue to have "deadly inadequacies" in their medical care. "The care is so bad that prisoners angle to join medical experiments that will take them away from prison infirmaries," the investigation reveals. On the other hand, there is evidence that some prisoners have seen both the best and the worst of health care. Some of the difficult cases have been handled with "real-world ferocity" by university doctors, but prisoners have also been left to starve to death in infirmaries and prison clinics operated by the university.
  • Leavenworth Train: A Fugitive Search for Justice in the Vanishing West

    Jackson looks at the history of the first federal prison in America, the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. A major finding is that the prison "was built on a model intended to rehabilitate young prisoners on the frontier, the exact opposite of what it finally became." The author discovers the story of Frank Grigware, the only prisoner to ever escape from Leavenworth and remain free as an immigrant to Canada. Jackson finds that "real questions of innocence" surrounded Grigware's trial for train robbery. The book uses the stories of the prison and the prisoner as "vehicles for exploring the developing nature of justice in the United States during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries." The author examines why the system of death penalty went wrong.
  • Prisoner's Vote

    Capital News Service reports on a bill that would reverse Maryland law that forbids any convicted felon from casting a ballot. The reporter finds statistics showing that blacks, especially males, are "disproportionately disenfranchised more than any other group of persons incarcerated." The story explains the arguments of the proponents and the opponents to prisoners' votes - that present law perpetuates an injustice, on the one hand, and that voting is a privilege, hence criminals should never be allowed to vote, on the other hand.