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Marian Grunwald (from left), Earl Elfstrom and Verna Matheson bounced a balloon back and forth with nursing assistant Rick Pavlisich on Dec. 13, 2013, at an Ecumen nursing home in Chisago City, Minn. Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune, Minneapolis St. Paul hide caption

itoggle caption Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune, Minneapolis St. Paul

NPR's analysis of government data found that harsh penalties are almost never used when nursing home residents get unnecessary drugs of any kind. Owen Franken/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Owen Franken/Corbis

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, a former Red Cross official says, as many as 40 percent of the organization's emergency vehicles were assigned for public relations purposes. This photo, which shows one of the trucks on Long Island, N.Y., in January 2013, is one example of the many publicity photos taken by the Red Cross. Les Stone/American Red Cross hide caption

itoggle caption Les Stone/American Red Cross

This photo of Roy Middleton working underground at the Kentucky Darby mine now sits on the mantel in the Middleton home in Harlan County, Ky. He was killed after an explosion in 2006. Anna Boiko-Weyrauch/NPR/Original photo courtesy of the Middleton family hide caption

itoggle caption Anna Boiko-Weyrauch/NPR/Original photo courtesy of the Middleton family

Jim Justice owns Southern Coal Corp., which has 71 mines that have racked up thousands of violations and millions of dollars in fines. Scott Halleran/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Scott Halleran/Getty Images

People line up to take part in an amnesty program to clear up outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrants in August 2013, in Ferguson, Mo. For those living on the economic margins, the consequences of even a minor criminal violation can lead to a spiral of debt, unpaid obligations, unemployment and even arrest. Jeff Roberson/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jeff Roberson/AP

John Huckleberry sits in the back seat of a friend's car on the way back from visiting inmates at Sterling Correctional Facility. After 30 years in prison, Huckleberry — who was released in 2012 — helps aging inmates prepare for life outside prison. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John W. Poole/NPR

The proliferation of court fees has prompted some states, like New Jersey, to use amnesty programs to encourage the thousands of people who owe fines to surrender in exchange for fee reductions. At the Fugitive Safe Surrender program, makeshift courtrooms allow judges to individually handle each case. Nicole Beemsterboer/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Nicole Beemsterboer/NPR

Kyle Dewitt was sentenced to three days in jail after he was unable to pay fees associated with catching a fish out of season. Joseph Shapiro/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Joseph Shapiro/NPR

Marcus and Joni Lamb, founders of Daystar, also host their own show, as seen in this screenshot from their network. With $233 million in assets, Daystar is the largest religious television network in America that also calls itself a church. Daystar Television Network hide caption

itoggle caption Daystar Television Network

Tom Barrett returned to the convenience store where he stole a can of beer. He spent time in jail, not for the crime, but because he couldn't afford the fines and fees that went along with wearing an electronic monitoring device. Joseph Shapiro/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Joseph Shapiro/NPR

The Central Identification Laboratory of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Pentagon announced that it will overhaul how the organization finds, identifies and returns the remains of thousands of service members lost in past wars. Elyse Butler for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Elyse Butler for NPR

There are more than 83,000 people classified as Missing in Action and Prisoners of War from the World War II, Vietnam and Korean conflicts. The Pentagon deems 45,000 of those "recoverable." JPAC is charged with finding and identifying them. Elyse Butler for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Elyse Butler for NPR

A composite image shows part of the NPR/Center for Responsive Politics reporting team's whiteboard at NPR headquarters that was used to map out how Wellspring connects to other social welfare groups. (Click the enlarge button to see a full-size image.) John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John W. Poole/NPR

The Au Sable River in Michigan is a popular place for fly fishermen and the heart of a debate unexpectedly influenced by largely invisible social welfare organizations. Christine Arrasmith/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Christine Arrasmith/NPR