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 "sentences" ...

  • TX Observer: Prison by Any Other Name

    Since the 1990s, Texas has run a controversial, constitutionally dubious “civil commitment” program that keeps hundreds of sex offenders in intensive monitoring and treatment long after they’ve finished their prison sentences. In 2015, after the agency running the program nearly imploded amid mismanagement, Texas lawmakers essentially turned civil commitment over to a scandal-ridden private prison contractor eager to gobble up contracts at the intersection of incarceration and therapy. The result: non-existent treatment, shoddy medical care, and a new taxpayer-funded, privately operated lockup in middle-of-nowhere Texas, where men under civil commitment are now confined indefinitely. Since the facility opened, only five men have been released — four of them to medical facilities where they later died.
  • Locked Out: Florida sentences are for life

    A group of University of Florida journalists investigated barriers felons face when released from prison in the Sunshine State. For four months, they followed the lives of seven felons, some just minutes after they were released. In a digital-first, Netflix-style episodic investigation, these student journalists explored how the label “felon” follows 1.6 million Floridians long after their sentences end. The student journalists looked into the three major issues Florida felons face: finding a place to live, securing a stable job and earning back their right to vote.
  • Locked Out: Florida sentences are for life

    A group of University of Florida journalists investigated barriers felons face when released from prison in the Sunshine State. For four months, they followed the lives of seven felons, some just minutes after they were released. In a digital-first, Netflix-style episodic investigation, these student journalists explored how the label “felon” follows 1.6 million Floridians long after their sentences end. The student journalists looked into the three major issues Florida felons face: finding a place to live, securing a stable job and earning back their right to vote.
  • Bias on the bench

    Florida legislators have struggled for 30 years to create an equitable justice system. But a Herald-Tribune investigation, involving an unprecedented analysis of tens of millions of electronic records, shows that black defendants are punished more severely than white defendants who commit the same crimes and have similar criminal backgrounds. Judges in Florida offer blacks fewer changes to avoid jail or scrub away felonies. They give blacks more time behind bars – sometimes double the sentences of whites. No news organization, university or government agency has ever done such a comprehensive investigation of sentences handed down by individual judges on a statewide scale. http://projects.heraldtribune.com/bias/
  • Machine Bias

    With our Machine Bias series, we are investigating the algorithms that are increasingly making decisions about our lives, from what news or ads we see online to what sentences are meted out for crimes. Algorithms are often proprietary "black boxes," raising important questions about transparency and due process. By collecting and analyzing the output of these systems, we set out to reverse-engineer and make accountable some of the algorithms that were having the biggest impact on people’s lives. Our investigative methods included linear regression, statistical analysis, and the creation of our own software. Among the series’ findings were evidence of racial bias in risk assessment systems, and the preferential treatment of Amazon’s own products in its so-called open market.
  • Child Predators in the Military

    Over six months of reporting, including filing numerous federal Freedom of Information Act requests and appeals to unearth details of scores of cases, The Associated Press found that the largest category of criminals in the military prison system are in for sex crimes against children. It also found that harsh sentences announced publicly were substantially reduced under plea agreements that were not routinely disclosed, and that military proceedings are opaque compared with the degree of openness of civilian courts. The lack of transparency made accessing the records needed for this story a significant challenge. http://www.sfgate.com/news/item/AP-interactive-Military-child-sex-assaults-48405.php
  • 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.
  • Battered, Bereaved, and Behind Bars

    This story exposes what many believe is a grievous injustice: Dozens of battered women have been locked away for a decade or more because they failed to prevent the men who battered them from also beating their children. BuzzFeed News found 28 cases in 11 states where mothers were sentenced to 10 years or more in prison under "failure-to-protect" laws despite evidence they were battered. More than a dozen are in prison for 20 years or more, and several are in on longer sentences than the men convicted of committing the abuse. And there are likely more out there.
  • Of Natural Causes: Death in Illinois Prisons

    When WBEZ reported in 2011 and 2012 on prison conditions in Illinois we were struck by the number of complaints regarding the lack of healthcare in the Illinois Department of Corrections. They reported some of the worst cases (and there were many) like Christopher Clingingsmith who told the prison doctor that his jaw was broken but medical records show he recieved no care for 8 weeks. By that point his jaw had to be rebroken to fix it. The healthcare in Illinois prisons is provided by a private company that has a 1.4 billion dollar contract with the state but that company doesn’t seem to do a very good job providing the care that taxpayers have paid for. Given the horror stories we heard they wondered how many people were dying inside because of a lack of care. The reporting analyzed the cases of inmates who died while serving sentences in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
  • Hartman Justice Project

    Recent developments in Alaska Innocence Project’s battle for exoneration of the so-called Fairbanks Four, a largely Athabaskan group of men serving sentences ranging from 33-75 years for John Hartman’s 1997 murder. O'Donoghue has been dogging, with the help of undergraduate students, what now appears to wrongful convictions in this case for more years than I care to count, exposing many flaws in a police investigation drawing direction from drunken confessions, trials sporting lying witnesses and racist prosecutorial branding, jury misconduct that (briefly) overturned one verdict in 2004.