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 "probation" ...

  • Bargaining the Badge: How Hundreds of Accused Texas Officers Avoid Prison

    Across Texas, hundreds of law enforcement officers have permanently surrendered their peace officer licenses in the past four years. A KXAN investigation of 297 of those surrenders uncovered nearly all the officers were accused or charged with a crime – most often felonies. KXAN also found this system allows some bad officers to operate under the radar for years. Through internal police department and court records, KXAN found several cases of officers accused repeatedly of misconduct. In those instances, the accused police officers were able to trade their badges in a plea bargain and walk away with probation.
  • NBCLA: Pepper Spray Use Skyrockets at Juvenile Hall

    The use of pepper spray by probation officers at Los Angeles County juvenile halls and camps has skyrocketed over the last few years, prompting an investigation and raising concerns as similar agencies across the country are banning pepper spray use, citing health concerns.
  • Troubling Pharmacies

    An investigation of nearly seven years of Virginia pharmacy board case decisions leads to the state making it easier for consumers to find out which health professionals are on probation but still working. It uncovers the area's largest health-provider, which had to outsource its hospital IV fluid mixing when it failed a pharmacy inspection, and got hospital officials to describe the details of the corrective action taken. It tells the story of a single pharmacist who never lost a day of work despite multiple probations from nearly 50 violations cited in board orders. It identifies the 17 area pharmacies that were cited for violations. And it reveals board reporting delays and transparency issues that keep consumers from making informed decisions on where to safely have their prescriptions filled.
  • Preying on Prisoners

    In “Preying on Prisoners,” The Marshall Project exposed how Texas, the state with the most instances of prison sex abuse, fails to penalize prison staffers who sexually abuse inmates. In a six-month investigation, Alysia Santo found that since 2000, the state prison system referred only 400 cases of suspected sexual assault by prison employees for prosecution, of which prosecutors refused to pursue almost half. Ultimately, 126 prison workers were convicted, but just nine were sentenced to jail time, and the rest were subject to fines and a few years probation, with the promise of a clean criminal record if the court’s conditions were met.
  • College of DuPage investigation

    The Chicago Tribune’s investigation of the College of DuPage – accomplished despite court orders and deception -- exposed egregious spending by top officials, exclusive contracts to insiders and ethical violations at the state’s largest community college, prompting criminal investigations, a new state law, and the college being put on probation by its accrediting agency. This entry includes 10 stories and a supplemental file that contains the accreditation agency letter citing our reports, Tribune follow-up stories showing results of our work, another publication’s article about our investigation and lawsuit, and a sample of the overwhelming response we have received.
  • Getting Off Easy

    From 2009 through 2013, judges in Jackson County, Mo., awarded probation for the worst violent crimes more often than their counterparts in any other court jurisdiction in the state. A Kansas City Star data analysis showed that during that period, one-quarter of people convicted of first-degree assault and one-third of those convicted of first-degree robbery received probation in Jackson County. Some of those defendants later committed far worse crimes. In addition, Jackson County gave probation more often for second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter convictions than all the other jurisdictions in Missouri combined.
  • Shift in Supervision

    he Tennessee Department of Correction researched and created a new supervision policy for the state in 2014 that drastically reduced supervision for some and increased supervision for others. WJHL's investigation revealed that change left some criminals, even convicted murderers, with limited face-to-face contact with their probation and parole officers. Instead, some of those people now could report using an automated phone reporting system. A local district attorney and state representative said not only did they think the changes were a bad idea, they wished the state would have asked for their input or at the least, let them know the changes were on the way. TDOC maintained based on research and other state models this change would improve public safety. However, leaders from the state agency did acknowledge, when pressed, they could have done a better job of communicating the changes. In the days after the first story aired, as a direct result, TDOC's commissioner sent letters to the district attorney and state representative and told them he would be wanted to clear up their concerns directly.
  • Judge Minaldi arrest

    In January of 2014, an anonymous tip was called in to KPLC-TV about a U.S. District Judge who refused to stop her vehicle for officers in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The officers were called out on a complaint about an erratic driver. The judge was eventually stopped and given a ticket for an open container. The caller claimed there was more to the story and a cover-up was underway. After multiple requests to the Lake Charles Police Dept., a press release was issued stating that Judge Patricia Minaldi was cited for having an open container in her vehicle. Initial open records requests were denied, claiming an open investigation. Once Minaldi paid a fine in Lake Charles City Court, KPLC-TV journalists requested a recording of the 911 call that led to the traffic stop. Later, KPLC-TV was able to obtain dash cam video of the judge arguing with officers and resisting their demands to get out of her vehicle. Once KPLC-TV's reports aired, Judge Minaldi was charged with DUI First Offense and was sentenced to probation. They believe the added charges were the result of public pressure after these reports aired.
  • Breaking The Silence: Addressing Sexual Assault On Campus

    An investigation into how the University of Kansas pursued one rape case (http://huff.to/W8uLVy), where the assailant confessed, resulted in the harshest sanction being probation, specifically because the university wanted to avoid being "punitive." Meanwhile, the city police decline to investigate underage drinking at a fraternity where victim had become intoxicated, and the district attorney decides to close the case until HuffPost contacts him. The Breaking the Silence series uses a range of perspectives to explore the lenient and lackadaisical approach of colleges across America to sexual assaults committed on their campuses. The first piece included here is an investigation into how the University of Kansas handled one rape case in which the assailant confessed, and whose harshest sanction was probation — specifically because the university wanted to avoid being "punitive," citing a higher-ed trade group’s guidance. The city police declined to investigate underage drinking at the fraternity where the victim had become intoxicated, and the district attorney decided to close the case until HuffPost contacted him. Another, data-driven piece examines whether schools like the University of Kansas are anomalies. We concluded that most colleges opt not to remove sexual assault offenders from campus, with many citing the same higher-ed trade group's guidance to be "educative, not punitive" in their approach to punishing rape and sexual misconduct. Fewer than one-third of cases where a student is found responsible for sexual assault result in expulsion In our third piece, we found that even when a school does investigate and punish a student for sexual assault, it doesn't stop the student from transferring to another campus, sometimes without anyone at the new school knowing about his past misconduct.
  • Cell of squalor, weeks of despair

    A Harris County jail inmate, jailed on a marijuana charge while on probation and in need of mental health care, was left in his cell for weeks without being let out, living amid heaps of trash, swarms of bugs, and piles of his own feces. When inspectors with a jail compliance team entered the cell of inmate Terry Goodwin on October 10, 2013, he was wearing a filthy, shredded jail uniform in the fetid cell. Shards of his orange uniform were hanging from the ceiling light. His sink, toilet and shower drain were clogged, not just with feces, but with toilet paper in an apparent attempt by Goodwin to cover his own waste and with orange rinds, perhaps in futile effort to mask the smell. That’s when the cover-up began.