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" ...

  • The killing floor

    In Colorado's most restrictive supermax prison, where inmates are confined to their cells for up to 23 hours per day, two prisoners beat another to death while a crowd of corrections officers watched and declined to intervene. Westword finds that security in the special unit is lax and that prisoners regard the unit as a place to "settle scores."
  • Blood Money

    The Primetime Live team was "able to document and expose an illegal black market, trafficking in human body parts harvested from executed Chinese prisoners, for sale here in the United States. (The) story began in a luxury hotel suite in Manhattan and led to a restricted military hospital in the Chinese province of Guangzhou, as (the) reporters documented the sale of a prisoner's kidney with the use of hidden cameras, rare eyewitness accounts and a graphic video smuggled out of China of actual executions by firing squad."
  • Prisoners in Paradise

    James and Penny Fletcher, a Huntington couple, were imprisoned for nine months on the Caribbean island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines on murder charges. The couple faced deaths by hanging if convicted. The reporter made several unsettling discoveries. The evidence presented against the Fletchers in a preliminary hearing was thin and entirely circumstantial, yet a magistrate ruled that there was enough evidence to go to trial. The Fletchers, wealthy business owners, were offered a chance to buy their freedom for $100,000, but the deal was pulled off the table when a South African man went public with the allegation that he paid the St. Vincent government $25,000 to avoid being charged with his wife's death. The Fletchers were locked up in damp, vastly overcrowded jails and were kept alive with meager prison rations of rice and bread. A pattern of human right violations by police and government officials in St. Vincent was discovered.
  • Death Behind Bars

    Each of the stories focused on the conditions of incarceration for women in California prisons. Women are the fastest growing population of prisoners in the United States, and females make up 10,000 of those currently incarcerated in California. The stories looked at the inadequate health care in state prisons -- particularly the Central California Women's Facility and Valley State Prison for Women, both in Chowchilla, California -- that exacerbated inmates' problems with chronic and terminal illnesses and lead, in several cases to unnecessary deaths.
  • (Untitled)

    The American Lawyer investigates the case of Lloyd Schlup, a Missouri prisoner on death row for the stabbing murder of a fellow inmate. Even though several witnesses insist another man committed the murder and prison cameras suggest it would have been virtually impossible for Schlup to be at the scene of the crime at the time of the murder, the Supreme Court is expected to allow the execution to proceed. Supreme Court officials are becoming increasingly hostile to retrying cases based upon new evidence - even if that means the death of wrongly-convicted prisoners. (Dec. 1994)
  • (Untitled)

    Westword examines the rise of the "special needs" prisoner. Their series revealed that Colorado is now formulating programs for prisoners who are mentally ill, or are simply very old or very young. Because of the high cost, the state's "normal" prisoners now face being sent out of state to serve their time. (July 18, 25, Aug. 1, 8, 1996)
  • Overcrowding and Inhumane Treatment in Missouri County Jails

    "A majority of Missouri counties have jails that are antiquated and inadequate for modern law enforcement needs. 93 out of 114 Missouri counties are third-class, meaning they don't have a tax base to build modern jails. Yet several of these third-class counties have first-class crime: drug convictions and violent offenders that fill small county jails beyond capacity. To save money, many of Missouri's third-class counties stockpile prisoners. In some jails, four to six inmates are crowded in cells meant to house two men... Many of these inmates have not been convicted of any crime and await trial. They claim "cruel and unusual punishment" for the jail conditions they must endure before their court date... Just about every third-class county in Missouri has been hit with class-action lawsuits from inmates regarding jail conditions..."
  • (Untitled)

    The San Francisco Bay Guardian investigates California's prison system and a new wave of secrecy which prevents the public from learning what really goes on inside jails. The series looks at prison officials' inhumane treatment of prisoners and prisoners' lack of legal authority to fight back from the inside of California's jails. Feb. 28, 1996)
  • (Untitled)

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette investigates the consequences of Act 309, a 1983 law in Arkansas which allows state prisoners to be assigned to county jails to relieve prison overcrowding. Under Act 309 in Wayne, Ark. convicted murderers slept with members of the opposite sex outside the jail, drove around town at will in a sheriff's cruiser and performed work that helped the sheriff and his family personally. (May 12, 1996)
  • Stunning Technology

    The Progressive looks at the stun belt, the latest, and increasingly popular, form of electronic "less lethal" technology. The stun belt shocks its wearers for eight seconds with 50,000 volts of electricity, knocking them to the floor where they may remain incapacitated for as long as fifteen minutes. The belt is rapidly gaining popularity as a control device in U.S. prisons, where it is used during transport of prisoners, medial appointments, and courtroom appearances. Its rise in popularity is tied in part to the return of the chain gang. (July, 1996)