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Abusive Doctors, Faulty Drug Tests and More in MuckReads Weekly

Some of the best #MuckReads we read this week. Want to receive these by email?  Sign up to get this briefing delivered to your inbox every weekend.

Busted, ProPublica/New York Times Magazine

In 1978, the U.S. Department of Justice said that kits used by police to test substances in the field "should not be used for evidential purposes," but that hasn't curbed their use. This investigation found that cops, prosecutors and judges across the country all rely on faulty, cheap drug tests that can put the innocent behind bars.

Inside the Deadly World of Private Prison Transport, The Marshall Project

Every year, private companies specializing in state and local extraditions transport tens of thousands of fugitives and suspects. A Marshall Project/New York Times investigation found that at least four people have died in extradition vans since 2012 and there is a "pattern of prisoner abuse and neglect" in the loosely regulated industry.

The lobbying reform that enriched Congress, POLITICO

The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 was enacted following the arrest of "super lobbyist" Jack Abramoff. It was billed as a historic breakthrough that Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said would, "[restore] the people's trust by reforming ethics and lobbying rules." But it didn't. In fact, this investigation found that it's created a shadow class of political influencers that are increasingly difficult to monitor — and punishing those behaving badly is even harder.

Doctors & Sex Abuse, Atlanta Journal Constitution

How common is sex abuse by doctors? Very, according to this investigation. A review of public records from all 50 states found "more than 3,100 doctors accused of sexual misconduct," since 1999, and more than 2,000 of those cases "clearly involved patients." But that's only a fraction of the problem – and the full extent of the problem is unknowable.

New Jersey's Student Loan Program is 'State-Sanctioned Loan-Sharking', ProPublica/New York Times

When Marcia DeOliveira-Longinetti's son was murdered, the federal government forgave his student loans, which she was a co-signer on. New Jersey sent a letter offering condolences but reaffirming her duty to pay back the borrowed money. One bankruptcy lawyer referred to New Jersey's student loan program as "state-sanctioned loan sharking" for its aggressive debt collection tactics. The agency filed more than 1,600 lawsuits against borrowers in 2015 – up from less than 100 in 2010.

#MuckReads Local

Yarber campaign finance: missing donations, miscalculations, The Clarion-Ledger

New laws, same old cycle, Austin American-Statesman

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