Local Reporting Network Archive

California Gave Billions in Taxpayer Dollars to Improve Jails. But That’s Not How These Sheriffs Are Spending It.

California has given counties more than $8 billion to handle thousands of new inmates. But lax spending rules and limited scrutiny have allowed some sheriffs to use that money for other things, which may violate state law.

How Oil Companies Avoided Environmental Accountability After 10.8 Million Gallons Spilled

Louisiana still hasn’t finished investigating 540 oil spills after Hurricane Katrina. The state is likely leaving millions of dollars in remediation fines on the table — money that environmental groups say they need as storms get stronger.

How Some Sheriffs Force Their Inmates Into Medical Debt

Sheriffs in multiple Alabama counties refuse to pay for some of their jail inmates’ health care needs. The inmates are personally billed, and their bills can end up with collection agencies while they are still behind bars, wrecking their credit.

How a Police Officer in Iowa Helped Protect an Alaskan Police Force — From Thousands of Miles Away

He read our story about Alaska’s policing problems and began raising money to send supplies to the small Police Department in Savoonga. His efforts may save his fellow officers’ lives.

What It Looks Like When a Hospital We Investigated Erases $11.9 Million in Medical Debt

After our investigation, Methodist Le Bonheur hospital system erased thousands of patients’ medical debt. Many will no longer have to choose between those bills and their children or themselves. We want you to meet four of them.

This Former Firefighter Has a Criminal Past. Now, He’s on the Board That Advises the State on Its EMS System.

Albert F. Peterson III has been disciplined by state health regulators, and he has a number of criminal charges. “I’m not that person anymore,” he said of his past.

Alaska’s Law Enforcement Crisis Is a Public Emergency. Here’s How Experts Want to Fix It.

More than a third of Alaska communities have no local police of any kind. Criminals have been hired as cops in some remote villages. A federal emergency has been declared and millions of dollars are promised, but here’s what else experts recommend.

We Found Villages That Hired Criminals as Cops. Now Officials Want It To Change.

The Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica found small Alaska cities have employed police whose criminal records should have prevented them from being hired. Now, the state board is working to ensure they meet basic hiring standards.

In Search of Solutions to Alaska’s Law Enforcement Crisis

We spent a year investigating how Alaska’s sexual violence crisis is compounded by a lack of law enforcement. Now, we’re looking at the system and how it can be fixed.

My Home Is a Place That Feels Safe. For Too Many Families, That’s Not the Case.

Where we live becomes part of who we are. It affects our quality of life. That’s why I report on low-income housing.

In “Cancer Alley,” Toxic Polluters Face Little Oversight From Environmental Regulators

Louisiana’s Department of Environmental Quality has been accused of protecting the chemical industry it regulates. The agency is facing cutbacks as new plants are slated for communities that already have some of the country’s most toxic air.

How an Environmental Regulator Became Known for Protecting Industry

In the late 1980s, Louisiana’s governor made environmental protection a priority. He only lasted one term. Now, the state’s Department of Environmental Quality has a reputation for going easy on industry.

ProPublica Selects 13 Investigative Projects, New Editor for Third Year of Local Reporting Network

Seven of the projects will focus on state government, while the rest will cover a broad range of subjects, bringing the network to 20 total reporters. T. Christian Miller will also become a senior editor.

“They Painted Over Problems”: How Residents of One Affordable Housing Complex Went From Hope to Despair

Twenty years after a private developer took over an affordable housing complex, the property has deteriorated once again and is in need of a multimillion-dollar renovation. A multilayered and confusing financial situation has left some tenants distressed.

There Are Kentuckians Who Still Don’t Have Broadband Because the Former Governor Chose an Investment Bank Over Experts

A report from the state auditor confirms officials knew their initiative would likely cost much more than they were letting on. The project is two years behind schedule and could cost taxpayers $1.5 billion over the next 30 years.

A New Study Prompted by Our Reporting Confirms Elkhart, Indiana, Police Department Lacks Accountability

Elkhart community members viewed police officers as “cowboys” who participated in “rough treatment of civilians,” contributing to what the study called a “trust deficit.”

Inside Public Housing Where Cockroaches Drop From the Wall and Kids are Getting Sick

Illinois’ HUD inspection failure rate is among the worst in the nation. A housing authority has delayed replacing one property for more than a decade. As the need for public housing rises, conditions in the aging structures are deteriorating.

HUD Inspect: See if Publicly Subsidized Housing Units Passed or Failed Government Inspections

Across the country, publicly subsidized housing residents have discovered that passing scores on HUD inspections often don't match the reality of their living conditions. Look up housing complex scores near you.

We Investigated Magistrates. Now, Lawmakers Want to Overhaul the System.

State lawmakers in South Carolina are proposing changes to how lower-court judges are selected after a Post and Courier-ProPublica investigation. The probe found a system that places connections over qualifications.

Sen. Chuck Grassley Wants a Hospital System That Sued Poor Patients to Explain Itself

After an investigation by MLK50 and ProPublica, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee criticized the practices of Memphis’ largest hospital system for aggressively suing low-income patients.

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