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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "database" ...

  • Hurricane Maria’s dead

    On September 20, 2017 Puerto Rico was devastated by the strongest hurricane that has hit the island in the last century. In the weeks after the storm, the government insisted there were only a few dozen deaths, but reporting on the ground by the Center for Investigative Journalism suggested there were hundreds. Officials also refused to provide overall mortality statistics that could help measure the impact of the storm. Given the lack of a reliable official death toll, we put together our own database with information collected from family members through an online survey, reporting, and tips. We verified those deaths by matching the victims’ names with government death records CPI eventually obtained through a lawsuit, and through nearly 300 phone interviews with victims’ relatives. We analyzed that material, as well as historic demographic data, to detect changes in mortality trends after the storm.
  • Analyzing police use-of-force data

    After a yearlong open records battle, the San Antonio Express-News obtained and analyzed a use-of-force database from the San Antonio Police Department. The records showed that officers used force against black and Hispanic suspects at a rate that was up to 78 percent higher than white suspects, yet less than one percent of 5,300 force incidents resulted in any kind of policy violation. The newspaper brought those stunning numbers to life with police suspension records, video, DocumentCloud and interviews with victims -- including an innocent man who was paralyzed after he underwent surgery to treat injuries from a police beating.
  • The Digilantes Try to Find Out Who Is Behind Mugshot.com

    The Digilantes uncovered a multi-million dollar extortion-based industry that’s wreaking havoc upon tens of millions of Americans’ lives, especially minorities. It’s the business of mugshot websites. Operators of these sites scrape public arrest records from online police databases, put them on their own websites, making them easily searchable on Google, and then charge hundreds of dollars to remove them, whether you are guilty or not. These mugshots, which can live forever online, are a form of digital scarlet letter ruining people's’ reputations, job and housing opportunities, even their dating lives. http://fusion.net/story/252451/digilantes-mugshots-dotcom-investigation/
  • Presumed Innocent, Found Dead - Tracking Jail Deaths Since Sandra Bland

    A team of HuffPost reporters and data journalists created a first-of-its-kind database of more than 800 jail deaths in the U.S., identified problem jails and produced months of follow-ups, including a feature-length investigation that revealed that many jail suicides are preventable and occur in the first 72 hours after booking.
  • Inside the Shady Industry that Profits off Mugshot Photos

    “Mugged,” which premiered on Fusion on March 6, 2016 as part of the network’s monthly investigative “The Naked Truth” series, explores the multi-million dollar extortion industry of mugshot websites, which is wreaking havoc on the lives and reputations of tens of millions of Americans, especially minorities. In a completely legal process, operators of these websites collect public arrest records and photographs from online police databases and post the records on their own websites, often making the content more prominent via search engine optimization. These mugshot websites then charge the arrested individuals hundreds of dollars to remove their records and photos, despite the fact that many of these individuals have been falsely arrested, found innocent, or have yet to stand trial.
  • Rail Crossings Danger

    A CBC News investigation into Canada's top 25 most accident-prone railway crossings found wide-spread design flaws across the country. Some of the most dangerous railway crossings in Canada lack automated gate arms, protective pedestrian gates, advance warning signs, bells and flashing lights. Other deficiencies include poor sightlines for drivers, confusing road signs and overgrown bush. As well, CBC News learned Transport Canada does not routinely warn the public about all railway crossings that appear in its database of the country's 500 "highest risk" crossings.
  • Solitary: Way Down in the Hole

    This four-part series exposed, for the first time, Minnesota’s heavy use of solitary confinement. By building a database and through prisoner interviews, we found more than 1,600 examples of inmates spending six months or longer in isolation over the past 10 years, and 437 instances of prisoners serving one year or longer. We documented more than 24,000 cases of inmates spending longer than 15 days in solitary—the time frame the United Nations defines as human torture. The series also showed how inmates come to prison with pre-existing mental illnesses and end up in isolation only to deteriorate mentally. The final installment told of the difficult path for inmates once they leave isolation. In more than 700 cases in the past six years alone, offenders left prison directly from solitary confinement.
  • A Cry for Help

    The trend was unmistakable. Minnesotans who were suicidal or otherwise having a mental health crisis were dying in confrontations with police. The Star Tribune decided to go beyond the anecdotes and develop the first comprehensive database of individuals killed after encounters with police in Minnesota. An exhaustive analysis of death certificate data, news accounts, police reports and other records revealed a powerful statistic: 45 percent of those who died in forceful encounters with police were in crisis or had a history of mental illness. The number was even more stark for 2015: nine of 13 killed fell into that category. The Star Tribune multimedia project “A Cry for Help” showed the collision of a broken mental health system with law enforcement, the responders of last resort. While questions of police conduct and use of force have revolved around race, one advocacy group estimated that mentally ill people are 16 times more likely to die in a police encounter than others. Our team faced the challenge of how to tell this story in a fresh and engaging way. They did it by obtaining extraordinary access to individuals: A cop who had killed two people, each of whom threatened him amid their mental breakdowns. The mother of a young mentally ill man killed by police who now advocates for better training. A man who tried to commit suicide by cop whose survival demonstrates how these situations don’t have to end in tragedy. These narratives were enhanced by hard-fought access to dozens of police case files that included powerful police video footage of a St. Paul standoff in 2015. The project also quantified, for the first time, the stories of every person who died in an encounter with police since 2000, and that database is now continually updated on the Star Tribune website.
  • Serbian Government Assets Revealed

    KRIK decided to focus on revealing corruption and crime at the highest levels of power. In late 2015 our team of journalists started to expose the hidden assets of Serbian politicians, as well as their relationship networks and potential wrongdoing. Our first discovery in this field was that Sinisa Mali, the Mayor of Belgrade, has secretly bought 24 resort apartments on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast through offshore companies from British Virgin Islands. This story has attracted huge attention from the Serbian public and it was picked up in all Serbian media. That inspired us to continue to investigate the mayor’s business deals in 2016 but also expand our investigation on other political elites. This one year investigation resulted in publishing a complete database of assets and businesses of all ministers from the new Serbian government in December 2016. https://imovinapoliticara.krik.rs/display/
  • Watched

    Police forces across the United States are stockpiling massive databases with personal information from millions of Americans who simply crossed paths with officers. A person can end up in one of these databases by doing nothing more than sitting on a public park bench or chatting with an officer on the street. Once there, these records can linger forever and be used by police agencies to track movements, habits, acquaintances and associations – even a person’s marital and job status. What began as a method for linking suspicious behavior to crime had morphed into a practice that threatens to turn local police departments into miniature versions of the NSA. In the process, critics contend, police risk trampling constitutional rights, tarnishing innocent people and further eroding public trust.