July 18th, 2014

For Vladimiro Carranza Chavez (pictured), a onetime Los Angeles mariachi, joining a ragtag militia to fight against one of Mexico’s most ruthless drug cartels followed a series of tragedies, including the slaying of three of his brothers and his own kidnapping and torture.

Learn more about California’s deep connections to the anti-cartel movement in Michoacán from our new investigation with KQED.

(Photo: Alan Ortega/KQED)

July 14th, 2014

Mentally ill inmates are bearing the overwhelming brunt of a rise in brutality by corrections officers on Rikers Island, according to a new investigation by The New York Times.

Is solitary confinement contributing to Rikers’ rise in violence? Read our earlier look.

July 14th, 2014

The catch to VA’s benefits backlog success

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ progress on reducing its massive backlog of disability claims came at the expense of mounting appeals, sloppy processing and millions of dollars in overpayments, according to a new report.

The testimony was prepared by the VA Office of Inspector General in advance of tonight’s House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing that will explore the agency’s performance on its benefits goals. 

How long are veterans near you waiting on a disability claim? Explore our interactive map to find out. We update it with new data from the VA each week. 

July 11th, 2014

Here at CIR we have a Museum of Outdated Technology (MOOT). This morning Jennifer LaFleur, our senior editor for data, showed the daughter of a CIR staffer some of our featured tech relics such as CueCat and an 8-inch floppy disk!

July 10th, 2014

Hello from Mongolia!

Our reporter Rachael Bale is traveling in the country as part of her International Reporting Fellowship for the International Center for Journalists. She’s been posting photos from her travels in our Instagram feed this week as she learns about the effects of the country’s developing mining industry. 

Follow us on Instagram to get the latest updates.

July 2nd, 2014

Opiate prescription rates across America

U.S. health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers in 2012, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. USA TODAY’s infographic (displayed above) shows how the prescription rates vary by state. 

Compare that with a snapshot from our map of opiate prescription rates at VA hospitals across the country in 2012. You can explore our interactive to see how the number of painkillers prescribed by VA doctors spiked 270% in the decade after 9/11.

June 30th, 2014

For-profit schools reaping GI Bill money

Since 2009, the University of Phoenix’s San Diego campus has received $95 million in GI Bill funds – more than the entire University of California system combined.

The school won’t say how many of its veterans graduate or find jobs, but it's overall graduation rate is less than 15% and more than a quarter of students default on their loans within three years of leaving school.

Is the money a good investment for veterans and taxpayers? Get the full story.

June 28th, 2014

It’s here! The new episode of Reveal, our investigative radio show with PRX, is now live. 

In this episode: the U.S. Coast Guard’s accident problem, arsenic in your water, and the high cost of a GI Bill degree. Listen here.

June 26th, 2014

What’s it like to be a kid locked up in solitary confinement? Watch our new documentary, “Alone,” to see for yourself.

The film caps a year our reporters have spent investigating the issue. For more, read our earlier stories, watch our animation, and learn how you can get your very own copy of our new graphic novel.

June 21st, 2014

If a city becomes a ghost town, what becomes of its youth? 

A new documentary by Off Page Project, our collaboration with Youth Speaks, explores how young people in Stockton, California, are using art and journalism as tools for change. 

Watch a powerful trailer for the film above. In the Bay Area? You can catch a special screening TONIGHT at our our pop-up film festival at Tides Theatre in San Francisco. Get tickets here

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At The Center for Investigative Reporting, we believe journalism that moves citizens to action is an essential pillar of democracy. Since 1977, CIR has relentlessly pursued and uncovered injustices that otherwise would be hidden from the public eye. Today, we are upholding this legacy and looking forward, working at the forefront of journalistic innovation to produce important stories that make a difference and engage our audiences across the aisle, coast to coast, and worldwide. What drives our work isn't profit – it's impact. Learn more at http://cironline.org/