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 "disabilities" ...

  • The Hidden Victims of Campus Sexual assault: Students with Disabilities

    Reporter Azmat Khan spent more than six months investigating the challenges students with disabilities can face when it comes to sexual assault at Gallaudet University, the country’s most renowned school for students with disabilities. It also happens to have the highest rate of “forcible sex offenses” — crime statistics required by the federal Clery Act — of any federally funded university in 2012.
  • Speaking up for Special Needs

    Investigation found an alarming number of children with disabilities in Wisconsin are dying from abuse or neglect, despite repeated calls to child protective service agencies. Our reporting found cases would be closed or not fully investigated when victims, who had disabilities, had a hard time communicating or couldn’t speak clearly. https://youtu.be/TOivj3kuc7c
  • Last of the Institutions

    “Last of the Institutions” is a multi-part series exposing Washington state’s outdated social policy of continued segregation and isolation of people with a developmental disability through institutionalization. Despite decades of research showing institutionalization is detrimental to people, and the Dept. of Justice’s stance that segregation of the disabled is a form of unlawful discrimination, Washington operates more institutions and houses more people in them than nearly every other state in the country. http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/investigations/2015/12/03/last-institutions/76123472/ https://vimeo.com/k5investigators/last-of-the-institutions
  • A Mountain of Misconduct

    For "A Mountain of Misconduct", Reveal teamed up with New Hampshire Public Radio health and science reporter Jack Rodolico to unveil 40 years of alleged abuse and neglect of people with disabilities at specialty rehab centers in multiple states. In our hour-long audio documentary, we took a close look at New Hampshire’s Lakeview NeuroRehabilitation Center, where people with severe disabilities were treated, and detailed that facility’s deep ties to a network of institutions across the U.S. Our reporting went back decades to look at the corrupt roots of the multibillion dollar brain injury rehabilitation industry in the 1970's and 80's, and exposed how for-profit neurological rehabilitation centers thrive on public dollars with little oversight. Additional content on the project includes a podcast extra, following up with one family who pulled their son from Lakeview after he was neglected there; a 4,000 word print piece detailing the "human trafficking", to borrow a term one disability rights expert used, that sends vulnerable people across state lines to distant facilities, and the weak state regulation that allowed Lakeview and similar institutions to prosper despite decades of complaints; and a digital interactive timeline featuring the characters in our story, from facility owners to investigators to patients, and how their lives intersected over 40 years.
  • Paid a pittance

    This investigation was the first comprehensive analysis of Pennsylvania's use of a Depression-Era provision that allows workers with disabilities to be paid below minimum wage.
  • Military Medicine

    A year-long investigation by The New York Times into the United States’ military hospitals revealed systematically poor care across major safety measures, showing that the trail of patients who died needlessly, babies who were permanently damaged and surgeries that left lifelong disabilities were not just unusual events, but part of a pattern of a medical system with systemic shortcomings. These are not VA hospitals: These are the nation's little-examined 55 military hospitals. This is not about war-related injuries, but routine medical care promised to those in the military and their families. The New York Times, by analyzing statistics, proved for the first time that crucial safety measures, like performing a root cause analysis when a patient unexpectedly dies or suffers from permanent disabilities that result from medical care, were not being done. The result of the work is that, in early fall, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced major changes to the way these hospitals provide care, and called for improved safety.
  • Backfire

    The investigation revealed that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) employed rogue tactics in undercover storefront strings in Milwaukee and across the country, including using those with mental disabilities to promote the operations – and then turning around and charging them with gun and drug crimes. The investigation found ATF agents set up operations near schools and churches, allowing them to arrest people on more serious charges; let felons armed with guns leave the fake storefronts; paid such high prices that people bought guns from stores and then quickly sold them to agents; bought stolen goods, spurring burglaries in the area; arrested and charged the wrong people; and drew in juveniles by allowing them to play video games, smoke marijuana and drink alcohol; failed to employ sufficient security, allowing sting storefronts to be burglarized; carelessly handled sensitive documents containing undercover officer’s names and vehicle information; and left behind damaged rental properties, failing to pay landlords for repairs. In Milwaukee, an ATF agent’s guns were stolen, including an automatic machine gun, which has not been recovered. The sting operations were part of an ATF initiative meant to go after “the worst of the worst” and target areas beset by violent crime. But in the Milwaukee operation and elsewhere, the defendants largely had nonviolent criminal backgrounds. Even a federal prosecutor criticized the ATF for the kinds of people targeted.
  • Wisconsin's disabled jobless shortchanged

    Thousands of unemployed Wisconsinites with disabilities waited for months to receive services from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, which is tasked with helping those with disabilities find employment. The wait list was expected to grow in length and number after the Legislature, for the third year in a row, did not request the full amount of federal funds available for the agency -- which could eliminate the waiting list altogether.
  • Watching Tony Die

    Wendy Halloran's journalistic skills have been focused in uncovering the secrets that often lurk behind the closed doors of our state institutions. Wendy began reporting about conditions in the Arizona Department of Corrections and became the vehicle through which the public would learn the story of Tony Lester. Tony, 26 years of age and suffering with schizophrenia tragically took his own life as he lingered in his prison cell, without proper medications and treatment, to ease the suffering he endured due to his debilitating illness. Wendy's ground breaking work in penetrating the great wall of silence within our state prison system was truly amazing. Wendy was able to obtain videos of Tony's last few moments of life through her fearless, "don't stop until the job is done attitude" The picture we see revealed in his final hours will create the guide for reform of Arizona's prison policy and procedures in treatment of those with mental disabilities for years to come. Tony Lester was a young man with a mental disability whose life unfortunately crossed with Arizona's criminal justice system. Tony's illness became a death sentence for him as all of our mental health system safety nets failed him. From the moment of Tony's first major psychotic break, when law enforcement was summoned rather than a Crisis Response Team, Tony's chances of survival grew dim. Arizona's courts do not place much importance on the state of mind a defendant has at the time a crime occurs but rather spend millions to be sure a defendant is competent at the time of trial. At trial we then prosecute to the fullest extent allowed by law, as we did in Tony's case and hand him a 12 year prison sentence, for his illness which was at the root of his desire to end his suffering. Some call it the definition of insanity, we do the same thing over and over again and each time expect a different result. Her work in bringing the story of Tony Lester's illness and treatment within the Arizona criminal justice system into the public view, has opened the eyes of the public as to what we can expect, when we allow a mental health system to fail and our prisons to become the largest psychiatric facilities in our state. Since Wendy Halloran's news story on Tony Lester has circulated, Arizona has seemed to have heard the sounding of the alarm, that our mentally disabled must have proper care. Meaningless punishment for a disease of the brain such as schizophrenia does nothing to heal the mind of the afflicted or keep our communities safe. The Tony Lester story has captured the attention of the Maricopa County Attorney and the Arizona Department of Corrections. Both of these important criminal justice players are currently involved in dialogue with The Arizona Mental Health and Criminal Justice Coalition. This has encouraged and promoted an open public discourse on mental health/criminal justice collaboration and reform.
  • Backfire

    The investigation revealed that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) employed rogue tactics in undercover storefront strings in Milwaukee and across the country, including using those with mental disabilities to promote the operations – and then turning around and charging them with gun and drug crimes. The investigation found ATF agents set up operations near schools and churches, allowing them to arrest people on more serious charges; let felons armed with guns leave the fake storefronts; paid such high prices that people bought guns from stores and then quickly sold them to agents; bought stolen goods, spurring burglaries in the area; arrested and charged the wrong people; and drew in juveniles by allowing them to play video games, smoke marijuana and drink alcohol; failed to employ sufficient security, allowing sting storefronts to be burglarized; carelessly handled sensitive documents containing undercover officer’s names and vehicle information; and left behind damaged rental properties, failing to pay landlords for repairs. In Milwaukee, an ATF agent’s guns were stolen, including an automatic machine gun, which has not been recovered. The sting operations were part of an ATF initiative meant to go after “the worst of the worst” and target areas beset by violent crime. But in the Milwaukee operation and elsewhere, the defendants largely had nonviolent criminal backgrounds. Even a federal prosecutor criticized the ATF for the kinds of people targeted.