Resource Center

Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.



Search results for "Abuse" ...

  • Till Death Do Us Part

    Awash in guns, saddled with ineffective laws and lacking enough shelters for victims of domestic abuse, South Carolina is among the nation's deadliest states for women, who are killed at a rate of one every 12 days. The series exposed numerous failings, including limited police training, inadequate laws, a lack of punishment, insufficient education for judges, a dearth of victim support, and traditional beliefs about the sanctity of marriage that keep victims locked in the cycle of abuse. These factors combine in a corrosive stew that, three times in the last decade, made South Carolina the No. 1 state in the rate of women killed by men.

    Tags: domestic abuse; limited police training; inadequate laws; lack of punishment; victim support; marriage; womens' safety

    By Doug Pardue; Glenn Smith; Jennifer Berry Hawes; Natalie Caula Hauff

    The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC)

    2014

  • New Push for Banks to Monitor Building Conditions

    This article represents the results of a three-month investigation by a select group of City University of New York students into a critical and overlooked social justice issue: the role of banks as enablers of negligent and even abusive landlords.

    Tags: investigation; CUNY; social justice; banks; landlords; city housing regulators

    By Lydia Chais; Emily Goodrich; Ashley Kervabon; Benjamin Shanahan; Jasmin Tepale; Derewko Torres; Michele Tram; Bryan Mark Urbsaitis; Anthony Vecchio; Thomas Wengler; Jarrett Murphy

    City Limits (New York)

    2014

  • Killers & Pain

    In her series Killers & Pain, Mary Beth Pfeiffer went where other media outlets have yet to go on a painkiller abuse epidemic whose devastation cannot be understated: 22,000 American lives lost in 2012 in overdoses from prescribed drugs like oxycodone. While the epidemic's story has been told elsewhere, Pfeiffer broke new ground. She laid blame on doctors at the epidemic’s heart, finding twin failures of physician oversight -- by regulators charged with assuring doctors do no harm and a justice system that gave drug-dealing doctors special treatment. Beyond this, the Journal was the first news outlet in New York to link a rush to heroin to a state law intended to curb painkiller abuse. It also documented massive over-prescribing, and, perhaps most importantly, humanized an epidemic that has ravaged communities served by the Poughkeepsie Journal. Pfeiffer’s June 29 profile of "The Dutchess 63" is a heart-breaking investigative portrait of real-world pain.

    Tags: drugs; painkillers

    By Mary Beth Pfeiffer

    Poughkeepsie Journal

    2014

  • Techsploitation

    Techsploitation was a yearlong investigation by The Center for Investigative Reporting that examined conditions facing foreign workers lured to the U.S. to service the back end of America’s IT infrastructure. CIR’s investigation produced multiple text stories, as well as a television investigative report, and a graphic novel-style profile of a worker trapped in his job. The stories examined the ways employers wielded extraordinary control over temporary immigrant tech workers in a system one called an “ecosystem of fear.” The investigation focused on two main areas: How labor brokers providing Indian high-tech workers to American companies gamed a professional visa program, creating a shadow world that can turn a worker’s dream of self-betterment into a financial nightmare and how porous federal oversight has allowed even labor brokers caught abusing workers to continue to thrive, even obtain federal IT contracts.

    Tags: technology; foreign workers; labor

    By Jennifer Gollan; Matt Smith

    Center for Investigative Reporting

    2014

  • SCDSS: The System Failed

    A News19 report on a 4 year old boy named Robert Guinyard Jr., who despite multiple reports of abuse, died in state care, put the spotlight on former South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) State Director Lillian Koller. Our investigation found multiple instances where policy says DSS should have stepped in. It would take the agency two months to publicly admit to a Senate Oversight Committee that policies were not followed in the case. The DSS Deputy State Director for Child Protective Services told us, “the system failed Robert.” News 19 reported at least 36 stories about DSS in 2014 on-air, online, and on mobile platforms. Our investigation led to the resignation of the agency’s State Director, policy changes in the Child Protective Services division, and increased funding to an understaffed guardian ad litum group that advocates for kids in state custody.

    Tags: social services; child abuse; child protective services

    By Clark Fouraker; Jennifer Bellamy; Darci Strickland; Marybeth Jacoby

    WLTX

    2014

  • In the Background: a KCRA-3 Investigation

    KCRA-3 found that the state of California was clearing people with arrests for child molestation, sex abuse of a minor, elder abuse, arson, even murder to work in daycares, elder care facilities, nursing homes and foster homes. The state would clear people to work who had multiple arrests and then investigate later. Yet those investigations took months, sometimes years to complete. As a result of our investigation the department changed their policy and a new state law was signed that would prevent the department from changing their policy back. No longer are people with arrests for violent crimes simply cleared to work and then checked later.

    Tags: child molestation; sex abuse of a minor; elder abuse; arson; murder; daycares; elder care facilities; nursing homes; foster homes; broadcast

    By Kevin Oliver; Dave Manoucheri; Millicent Ozdaglar

    KCRA-TV (Sacramento, Calif.)

    2014

  • The Medicare Advantage Money Grab

    This is the first comprehensive effort by a media organization to analyze how government pays for Medicare Advantage, which costs taxpayers some $150 billion a year as it grows explosively. We found that rather than slow health-care spending, as intended, Medicare Advantage plans for the elderly have sharply driven up treatment costs in some parts of the United States—larding on tens of billions of dollars in overcharges and other suspect billings over the past five years alone. The findings are based on an analysis of Medicare Advantage enrollment and billing data as well as thousands of pages of government audits, research papers and other documents, and scores of interviews with industry executives. Our review revealed how an obscure billing formula called a “risk score,” that is supposed to pay Medicare Advantage plans more for sicker patients and less for healthy ones, has been widely abused to inflate Medicare costs.

    Tags: Medicare advantage; elder abuse; corruption; billing

    By Fred Schulte, David Donald, Erin Durkin, and Chris Zubak-Skees

    NBC News

    2014

  • Medicare Unmasked

    The "Medicare Unmasked” series examined the $600 billion Medicare program, stemming from The Wall Street Journal’s legal and journalistic efforts to prod the government to publicly release doctor-billing data that had been kept secret for decades. A team of Journal reporters created numerous programs to analyze the government numbers, using them to spin out articles that uncovered medical abuses that cost taxpayers. The series had big impact. The CEO of a large laboratory resigned under pressure soon after the Journal revealed it used a controversial medical practice. The Journal also broke news of an FBI investigation into a medical practice the newspaper had identified as collecting far more from Medicare for a single procedure than any other medical provider. And an ousted Walgreen executive sued the drugstore giant alleging widespread Medicare-related abuses there, citing a Journal article that revealed a $1 billion forecasting error in Walgreen’s Medicare business. The Journal has been widely recognized for its Medicare efforts. Margaret Sullivan, the New York Times Public Editor, praised the Journal for its “time, expense and persistence” in pursuing the once-secret Medicare data, calling it a “cornerstone of investigative reporting."

    Tags: Medicare; fraud

    By Tom McGinty

    Wall Street Journal (New York)

    2014

  • UK Parliamenary Paedophiles

    This entry consists of a series of feature articles published in the daily Morning Star, UK and on-line version. They form a campaign to reveal the extent of an official Establishment cover-up of the activities of UK Parliamentary MP's involved in widespread pedophile abuse of vulnerable children. The allegations and supporting evidence stretches back decades and includes actions taken by UK Secret Intelligence Services, The Metropolitan Police, and other regional forces, the Home Office and other state institutions. The campaign tracks individual cases and high profile government Ministers of State many of whom are now deceased. Children were taken from children's homes where they were being looked after by social services staff and transported to hotels and guest houses where they were drugged and sexually abused, orally and anally raped and forced to perform sexual acts on older men.

    Tags: Sexual abuse; UK Secret Intelligence; Pedophiles

    By Steven Walker

    The Morning Star

    2014

  • Tapping into Controversial Back Surgeries

    Spinal fusion is one of the most common surgeries in America, but there are concerns that some doctors are performing it unnecessarily. The procedure joins two or more adjacent vertebrae, often with metal rods and screws, and can result in paralysis or life-threatening complications. For this six month investigation, we built a database from previously unreleased government records. It showed for the first time how many spinal fusions each surgeon in the country performed on Medicare patients, under the billing codes used most commonly for "degenerative" conditions that cause back pain. Half a dozen experts on medical billing and spine surgery told us that focusing on these codes would be the most effective way to identify abuse. We exposed that a small group of doctors performed far more of these lucrative but potentially dangerous procedures than their peers. Some of them were also banned or suspended from hospitals or settled lawsuits alleging unnecessary surgeries. Our findings were so alarming to the president of a top neurosurgery society that he called on authorities to look into these doctors. We also put the database online, made it easily searchable by patients, and provided guidance from experts on how to interpret it.

    Tags: Surgery; health; Medicare

    By Ben Eisler

    CBS News

    2014