Think your donation is going to a worthy cause? Listen to real phone calls from some of America’s worst charities.
We spent a year investigating and combing through a decade’s worth of data to find that America’s 50 worst charities paid solicitors nearly $1 billion in 10 years that could’ve gone to their causes.
→ Read the wild dirty secrets of America’s worst charities.
Last September, a Highway Patrol officer was shopping at a Sacramento Barnes & Noble when a thief broke into the trunk of his personal car, according to a state property report. The loot included a Highway Patrol-issued.40-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol, three .40-caliber high-capacity magazines and the officer’s unencrypted laptop containing confidential information, according to the database.
The officer called the Sacramento Police Department to make a report; no arrest was made.
School ended for Michael Garcia with a routine transfer from juvenile hall to adult county jail. There was no fanfare, diploma or cap and gown. He hadn’t graduated or dropped out.
He’d simply turned 18.
For the next 19 months, he was in limbo, unable to receive the high school diploma that he’ll need for most jobs and to attend college. Despite being eligible for special education under state and federal laws – Garcia has a learning disability, an auditory processing disorder and a speech and language impairment – in the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail, he was a student that no one wanted to teach.
California and federal laws allow students with disabilities to receive special education until age 22. But the laws are vague enough that deciding who should provide that education is unclear.
The problem: In court documents, L.A. Unified said that because there’s no law specifically assigning school districts to provide special education to inmates, the state Department of Education is responsible. The state, on the other hand, said it provides special education services only if it finds local agencies are “unwilling or unable” to do so – a circumstance that it said was not the case for students in Los Angeles County jails.
Franklin Alexander Ordonez Ordonez (left) is from the capital city of Honduras, considered one of the most violent places on earth. Speaking from a graveyard in Nogales where he sought a shady reprieve close to the Arizona border, Ordonez said he was on his way north and would be trying for a fourth time to enter the country in search of work. He said no number of Border Patrol arrests would be enough to discourage him. “I’ll try until I make it,” Ordonez said in Spanish. “It doesn’t matter how many times it takes.” He does not have family in the United States. Three brothers and sisters are back home in Honduras.
Credit: Will Seberger/For the Center for Investigative Reporting