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The Price Kids Pay

Ticketed at School as a Teen, a Young Black Woman Is Suing an Illinois City for Violating Her Civil Rights

It took four years and a jury trial for Amara Harris to beat the ticket that accused her of stealing another girl’s AirPods. Now she’s heading back to court in the hope of stopping schools from using police to discipline students.

Reporting From the Midwest

Our team in the Midwest covers Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Missouri. Based in Chicago, it grew out of our first regional publishing operation, which focused on people living and working in Illinois. Read more.

Illinois School Districts Sent Kids to a For-Profit Out-of-State Facility That Isn’t Vetted or Monitored

A state law was meant to help families by allowing the use of public money to fund students’ tuition at special education boarding schools around the country. But in solving one problem, lawmakers created another.

Minnesota AG Sues Contract-for-Deed Seller Who Allegedly Targeted Muslim Community

The complaint, which alleges violations of lending law and religious discrimination, follows a ProPublica and Sahan Journal investigation.

Under the Gun

Inside the Historic Suit That the Gun Industry and Republicans Are on the Verge of Killing

For 25 years, gunmakers have repeatedly tried to end one city’s lawsuit over illegal gun sales. Meanwhile, illicit purchases of firearms continued at an unrelenting and hazardous pace.

Local Reporting Network Partners

ProPublica is supporting local and regional newsrooms as they work on important investigative projects affecting their communities. Some of our past and present partners in the region:

Chicago Tribune
Chicago, Illinois
The Southern Illinoisan
Carbondale, Illinois
WBEZ
Chicago, Illinois
The Daily Herald
Arlington Heights, Illinois
The Business Journal
Youngstown, Ohio
Outlier Media
Detroit, Michigan

A Security Camera Caught an Employee Beating a Patient. It Took 11 Days for Anyone to Take Action.

After our investigation revealed patient abuse at Illinois’ Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center, the facility installed cameras to help. But the footage isn’t monitored unless there’s an allegation of misconduct.

Scenes From a MAGA Meltdown: Inside the “America First” Movement’s War Over Democracy

Across the country, the Republican Party’s rank-and-file have turned on the GOP establishment. In Michigan, this schism broke the party — and maybe democracy itself.

How 3M Execs Convinced a Scientist the Forever Chemicals She Found in Human Blood Were Safe

Decades ago, Kris Hansen showed 3M that its PFAS chemicals were in people’s bodies. Her bosses halted her work.

Even When a Cop Is Killed With an Illegally Purchased Weapon, the Gun Store’s Name Is Kept Secret

A 2003 law pushed by the gun industry limits the information shared by federal agents and shields gun shops from public scrutiny, but ProPublica was able to identify the store that sold the gun used in the shooting of a Chicago police officer.

This School for Autistic Youth Can Cost $573,200 a Year. It Operates With Little Oversight, and Students Have Suffered.

No state agency has authority over Shrub Oak, one of the country's most expensive therapeutic boarding schools. As a result, parents and staff have nowhere to report bruised students and medication mix-ups.

Ten Years After the Flint Water Crisis, Distrust and Anger Linger

A city is forever changed, and so is residents’ relationship with their water. The betrayal of trust by the institutions meant to protect Flint’s residents has made some of them extra cautious as they look to keep themselves and their community safe.

The Chief Prosecutor in Elkhart, Indiana, Is Accused of Misconduct for Making Contradictory Allegations

A man serving 55 years has filed a motion to overturn his conviction, arguing that the state prosecuted him for giving a gun to a drive-by shooter even though another man had already pleaded guilty to giving the same gun to the shooter.

Michigan Lawmakers Working to Fix a Program That Failed to Compensate the Wrongfully Convicted

State law provides $50,000 for each year of wrongful imprisonment, but a ProPublica investigation showed how the law’s narrow requirements led to delays, partial settlements and outright denials of payments.

Indiana Enacts Law to Allow State Child Services to Investigate More Abuse Claims at Youth Centers

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill into law that aims to curb abuse at youth treatment centers for those 18-21 years old. It comes after a ProPublica-IndyStar investigation into employees at Pierceton Woods Academy.

Michigan Lawmaker Introduces Bill Requiring State Health Plans to Cover Cutting-Edge Cancer Treatments

After ProPublica reported on a Michigan insurer that wouldn’t cover a cancer patient’s last-chance treatment, a state lawmaker introduced a measure compelling health plans to cover a new generation of advanced cancer therapies.

Cómo un incendio en una granja lechera nos llevó a escribir varias historias sobre los trabajadores de las granjas

La reportera de ProPublica Melissa Sanchez reflexiona sobre qué la llevó a investigar los muchos peligros e injusticias que enfrentan los trabajadores inmigrantes sin los cuales las granjas lecheras de Estados Unidos no funcionarían.

How a Fire on a Dairy Farm Led Us to More Than a Year’s Worth of Stories About Immigrant Dairy Workers

ProPublica reporter Melissa Sanchez reflects on what led her to investigate the many dangers and inequities faced by the immigrant workers without whom America’s dairy farms wouldn’t function.

Los trabajadores de las granjas lecheras a menudo aguantan viviendas precarias. La ley no los protege.

El fiscal de Minnesota reveló cómo los trabajadores de una granja lechera carecían de calefacción, plomería y tenían moho en sus viviendas. Estas condiciones son comunes, debido a que estos trabajadores son excluidos de muchas protecciones.

The Law Doesn’t Protect Immigrant Dairy Workers in Substandard Housing

Minnesota’s attorney general exposed conditions at one dairy farm where workers lacked heat and plumbing and dealt with mold in their homes.

St. Louis Police Chief Receives a Third of His Pay From a Local Foundation, Raising Concerns of Divided Loyalties

In a city with a high violent crime rate and claims of inequitable policing, leaders are questioning the $100,000 per year the chief receives from local business owners. “Can the criminals get together and pay the chief?” asked one alderwoman.

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Most Read

    How 3M Execs Convinced a Scientist the Forever Chemicals She Found in Human Blood Were Safe

    Decades ago, Kris Hansen showed 3M that its PFAS chemicals were in people’s bodies. Her bosses halted her work.

    Committed to Jail

    This Mississippi Hospital Transfers Some Patients to Jail to Await Mental Health Treatment

    Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto doesn’t have a psychiatric unit, so it sends patients elsewhere for mental health treatment. When publicly funded facilities are full, some patients go to jail to wait for help. One doctor said that’s “unthinkable.”

    Local Reporting Network

    Nine Takeaways From Our Investigation Into 3M’s Forever Chemicals

    What you need to know about the inside story of how the company allowed PFOS to seep into all of us while sitting on research that showed the chemical is toxic.

    Scenes From a MAGA Meltdown: Inside the “America First” Movement’s War Over Democracy

    Across the country, the Republican Party’s rank-and-file have turned on the GOP establishment. In Michigan, this schism broke the party — and maybe democracy itself.

    Long-Term Challenge

    Maine’s Health Department Rarely Investigates When Residents Wander Away From Their Care Facilities

    Elopement — when a resident wanders out of a care home — is a real risk, particularly for people with dementia. But in the vast majority of cases in the state, the facilities are never inspected and rarely sanctioned.

    Local Reporting Network