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 "criminal records" ...

  • The Marshall Project and Reveal: The Victims Who Don't Count

    In "The Victims Who Don't Count," The Marshall Project and Reveal investigate how every state sets aside money to help crime victims, but seven ban people with criminal records, a policy that mostly impacts black victims and their families.
  • Getting Guns Out of Dangerous Hands

    KING 5's reporting led to a new law in Washington state and a new task force targeting people who are prohibited from owning guns. The stories focused on gun laws that are supposed to keep firearms out of the hands of two classes of dangerous people: Those with criminal records, and those accused of domestic violence. Two separate series of investigative reports revealed that those laws were not enforced by the criminal justice system, and victims were paying for that with their lives.
  • The Hansen Files: Daycare Criminals

    Childcare advocates claim that inadequate state laws have made it easy for people with criminal convictions to get licensed to care for children—often with deadly consequences. Their evidence was often anecdotal--ripped from headlines of children dying in the care of someone whose past wasn't revealed until after the child had been harmed. When we looked into the problem we soon discovered that even when a criminal history disqualifies a potential candidate from childcare, states often grant licenses nonetheless. Parents not only aren’t informed of this, but some states actively conceal this information. And we found there are no existing databases that report caregivers’ criminal records or the results of background checks, so we set out to compile our own. The creation of that database then led us to an extensive, year-long data search in five states, from original arrest reports and police narratives to jail records, court records, state licensing files, exemption reports, inspection records and more. These records helped us unravel the many ways people with criminal records were able to get licensed. We then visited several centers and conducted an experiment in one state, submitting applications for childcare background checks for three women--all of them convicted murderers.
  • Good Samaritan's case exposes police department inconsistency

    A controversial New Orleans Police Department policy of releasing the criminal records of crime victims ended after The Lens' pointed out inconsistencies in the application of the practice. When a father of two died trying to stop another woman's carjacking, the department praised him as a Good Samaritan and highlighted his years of volunteering for their office, but didn't mention his criminal record. After we searched his background, we published that he had a history of arrests for marijuana possession and LSD distribution that spanned as far back as the '80s. Shortly after our story, the department ended the policy.
  • Shades of Mercy: Presidential Pardons

    Reporters obtained exclusive access to thousands of internal documents and conducted scores of interviews with pardon applicants, Justice Department, and top legal advisers to every president since Ronald Reagan. What the documents showed were repeated instances in which white applicants with serious criminal records received pardons, while minority applicants who committed lesser crimes were rejected.
  • Sex offender, other felons ran camps for homeless kids

    This investigation "found that Palm Beach County officials paid a convicted child molester, drug dealers, thieves and other people with criminal records nearly half a million dollars in public money to run summer camps for homeless, foster and impoverished children during the past three years."
  • Officer Absent, Case Dismissed

    Many defendants facing felony charges were set free in 2007 because police officers, who arrested them, never showed up for court. Further, these defendants already had long criminal records and after being released were later arrested for other crimes. In some instances, cases were postponed when officers did not show up for court, instead of having the case dismissed. No matter if the case is postponed or dismissed it wastes the time of judges, lawyers, defendants, and the public’s money.
  • "Trust Betrayed"

    In this investigative series, Sun Sentinel reporters find numerous employees of Florida day care centers and nursing homes have startling criminal backgrounds. Many of the employees had criminal records that revealed crimes of child abuse, rape and murder. An obviously flawed Florida state law allows people to begin working as caregivers before a background check is complete.
  • Above the Law

    The Illinois State Police are refusing to seal or expunge thousands of criminal records. Many of these ex-offenders have reformed themselves and strive to clear themselves of these criminal records. Thousands of these ex-offenders have convinced judges to seal or expunge their criminal records. Furthermore, many ex-offenders believed their records were sealed or expunge, only to find out their records are still public.
  • Compromised Care

    Illinois is an outlier among states in its reliance on nursing homes to house younger adults with mental illness, including thousands of felons whose disabilities qualify them for Medicaid-funded nursing care. The reporters documented numerous recent cases in which elderly and disabled residents were assaulted, raped and even murdered in the facilities.