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 "private" ...

  • California Prosecution Fees

    The Desert Sun uncovered how residents of three cities in the Coachella Valley were being billed massive fees that paid for private attorneys the city had contracted to go after the residents' for minor city code violations. Petty offenses, like having a messy yard or hanging a Halloween decoration on a street light, led to thousands or tens of thousands of dollars being demanded of the residents. If they couldn't pay, liens were assessed. Following the reporting, the cities stopped the practice, state lawmakers made it illegal in California and a class-action lawsuit led to at least one city refunding the residents.
  • Dying in Private Prisons

    This harrowing investigative series into America’s shadow system of privatized federal prisons for The Nation magazine and The Investigative Fund exposed deadly medical neglect and failed government oversight, and led to a major announcement by the Department of Justice in August ordering the Bureau of Prisons to end its use of private prison operators.
  • The Man Inside: Four months as a prison guard

    Prisons are almost impossible for reporters to get inside, and few people know what life inside is like for inmates and guards. But one journalist cracked the shell of secrecy by getting a job as a prison guard. He witnessed cost-cutting measures and reported safety concerns affecting prisoners and staff. On this episode of Reveal, they take an unprecedented look inside the multibillion-dollar private prison industry. https://www.revealnews.org/episodes/the-man-inside-four-months-as-a-prison-guard/ http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/06/cca-private-prisons-corrections-corporation-inmates-investigation-bauer
  • The Profiteers

    The tale of the Bechtel family dynasty is a classic American business story. It begins with Warren A. “Dad” Bechtel, who led a consortium that constructed the Hoover Dam. From that auspicious start, the family and its eponymous company would go on to “build the world,” from the construction of airports in Hong Kong and Doha, to pipelines and tunnels in Alaska and Europe, to mining and energy operations around the globe. Today Bechtel is one of the largest privately held corporations in the world, enriched and empowered by a long history of government contracts and the privatization of public works, made possible by an unprecedented revolving door between its San Francisco headquarters and Washington. Bechtel executives John McCone, Caspar Weinberger, and George P. Shultz segued from leadership at the company to positions as Director of the CIA, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of State, respectively. Like all stories of empire building, the rise of Bechtel presents a complex and riveting narrative. In The Profiteers, Sally Denton, whom The New York Times called “a wonderful writer,” exposes Bechtel’s secret world and one of the biggest business and political stories of our time.
  • Suffering in Secret

    Illinois steered thousands of its poorest and most vulnerable adults with disabilities into less expensive private group homes and cloaked harm and death with secrecy and silence. The Tribune exposed flawed investigations (two cases were reopened) and revealed how Illinois had publicly undercounted abuse and neglect cases for five years. The Tribune identified 1,311 cases of harm since July 2011 and tracked at least 42 deaths in group homes or their day programs over the last seven years. Additionally, the Tribune uncovered a secretive state practice that allowed group home employees to police their own businesses. The Tribune also detailed a state auction in which group home executives raised hands to select individuals with disabilities to be moved from state facilities into the community. For the first time, the Tribune circumvented state secrecy to show that many group homes were underfunded, understaffed and dangerously unprepared for new arrivals with complex needs.
  • The death of Korryn Gaines

    These stories explored the death of Korryn Gaines after a six-hour standoff with Baltimore County police. Baltimore Sun reporters were able to shed light on the incident with stories about Gaines’ past encounters with police and social media postings, an exclusive interview with the neighbor who allowed police to drill holes in the wall he shared with Gaines’ apartment so they could monitor her movements, and another exclusive on court documents showing that police sought Gaines’ private Facebook messages and other account information. Reporters also explored other angles, such as the role social media is playing in encounters with police across the country. Finally, reporters gained exclusive access to the investigative file that provided a trove of information on how the standoff went down.
  • Luxuries on public dime

    Based on public financial records obtained through an FOI request, a Belleville News-Democrat investigation found that more than $230,000 was spent on a taxpayer-supported American Express card over four years used by East St. Louis Township Supervisor Oliver Hamilton. He used the card to buy construction materials, take Las Vegas trips, purchase gas for his private vehicle, and buy dinners and gifts for political friends. Hamilton pleaded guilty to federal charges for misusing public funds.
  • My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard

    In December 2014, senior reporter Shane Bauer—using his own name and employment history—applied for a job as a prison guard for the Corrections Corporation of America (now known as CoreCivic), the country's second-largest private prison company. He was quickly hired for a $9-an-hour job at a medium-security prison in Louisiana. That began a four-month odyssey during which Bauer witnessed stabbings, an escape, lockdowns—and his own transformation into a corrections officer, with reactions and feelings he barely recognized as his own. "My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard" is a raw, gripping chronicle of a company's struggle to maintain control of a facility stretched to the limit by cost-cutting and mismanagement, and Bauer's own fight to maintain his humanity in a system that is equally destructive of both inmates and guards. https://youtu.be/cBiqRGXog4w?list=PL7FWr6whNWmhueSwdXFBsNJkZXkMIQ9lf http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/06/reveal-episode-shane-bauer-man-inside
  • Who’s getting rich off your student debt?

    America’s student loan system was created in the 1960s as part of an effort to alleviate poverty and inequality. But by 2016, some 42 million Americans owed an astonishing $1.3 trillion on their student loans, and the debt load had doubled in eight years. How did a program intended to help deserving students go to college become a profit center for Wall Street, private investors, even the government? We sought to document how the nation’s student loan crisis unfolded – and who has profited from it.
  • Private Schools, Painful Secrets

    The Globe found more than 110 private schools in New England have faced allegations that educators sexually abused or harassed students over the past 25 years, including many cases where schools covered up the abuse or quietly helped ousted teachers land jobs at other schools. https://brightcove.hs.llnwd.net/e1/pd/245991542/245991542_4882243148001_4880285188001.mp4?pubId=245991542&videoId=4880285188001 https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/07/20/look-details-specific-school/aI4dxnYNcW7wo3oPpDbb6N/story.html?p1=Article_Related_Box_Article_More