Ongoing Coverage:

Crime

Crime, Justice and Public Safety
8:47 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Fewer Meth Labs, But More Meth

A meth pipe.
michelle.irish

An annual report to the Iowa legislature and governor shows an increase in the amounts, potency, and use of methamphetamine in Iowa.

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Crime
5:22 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Job Prospects for Iowa Ex-Felons

A shift in law that brought e-cigarette stores under the same code as tobacco stores meant Kelley Page could no longer continue to operate his Des Moines-based store, Great Alternatives.
Mobydoux Wikimedia Commons

Kelley Page saw his e-cigarette store as the new chapter in his life. So it stung that much more when it was taken away because of his past.

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Domestic Violence
4:54 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

#WhyIStayed: Perceptions, Protections, and Problems with Domestic Abuse in Iowa

Iowa has both civil and criminal codes to help domestic abuse victims seek justice.
Ben Pollard Wikimedia Commons

Tiffany Allison breathed a sigh of relief when she learned her former attacker was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

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Statehouse and Politics
11:01 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Crime Victim Funds Scrutinized

Iowa’s Crime Victim Assistance Program was under scrutiny before a Republican-dominated committee at the statehouse.     The committee’s chairman says he got his questions answered about whether money was being misspent.   

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Crime
3:39 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

News Buzz: Mackenzie Found Guilty

Benton Mackenzie, in a wheelchair, and his wife, Loretta, outside the courthouse Wednesday.
Brian Wellner Quad City Times

Last summer, a Long Grove resident was arrested after police found marijuana plants in his home. Benton Mackenzie claims his family grew the plants in order to treat a rare blood-vessel cancer. This past week, the jury reached a guilty verdict for Mackenzie, his wife and child.

Host Ben Kieffer talks with Brian Wellner, crime reporter for the Quad City Times, about the circumstances, outcome of the trial and why the jury couldn’t hear his primary defense.

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News Buzz
10:06 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Iowa Teacher's Invention Could Save Lives

The "sleeve" fitted on a classroom door
Fighting Chance Solutions

Since the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there have been more than 70 shootings in schools around the country. Just this week, there was another at Reynolds High School in Oregon.

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River to River
2:44 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Efforts to Curb Human Trafficking in the Midwest

Imagens Evangélicas

Up to two million women and children worldwide are victimized by traffickers each year.

It’s often thought to be a problem outside our border, but the majority of sex trafficking victims in this country are U.S. citizens. And, some of these victims are right here in the Midwest.

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River to River
2:03 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

CSI: Iowa

Blood spattered on pavements in London, March 27, 2010.
foistclub

Over a hundred years ago, searching for fingerprints became routine for crime scene investigation. In the intervening years the tools of forensic investigation have greatly evolved.

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News Buzz
4:20 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

A Rush of Home Invasions and Shootings in Des Moines

Daniel Hoherd

So far this year, Des Moines has reported eight home invasions; the number coming very close to the eleven home invasions reported over the course of the entire previous year (2013).

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River to River
3:34 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

The 'Core' of Iowa Education

Thomas Favre-Bulle

In the first half of this program, host Ben Kieffer talks with two members of the new Iowa Department of Education commission charged with strengthening the core curriculum.  Guests are D.T. Magee, the Executive Director of the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, and Tom Downs, Executive Director of the Iowa Association of School Boards.

In the second half, hear about new attention given to sexual assault, doubling of propane prices, and what is behind the latest cold weather.

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River to River
3:57 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Stalking, An Invisible Crime

Pasi Pitkänen

River to River revisits the important subject of criminal stalking.

Though stalking became a crime in the state of Iowa in 1994, it’s a difficult charge since in many ways stalking is an “invisible" crime.  Often, victims of stalking have a hard time proving they are being terrorized.

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News
3:30 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Belin on the Murder Weapon

David Belin shown testifying in a still-frame from You Tube.
Credit YouTube

A Des Moines attorney was a key figure in the official inquiry into President Kennedy's assassination. David Belin investigated the rifle that made history 50 years ago.

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River to River
2:21 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

The Anatomy of a False Confession

According to researchers ISU psychology Stephanie Madon and Max Guyll juveniles, people with intellectual disabilities and those who are undereducated tend to be more at risk for making false confessions.
martin/ x1klima Flickr
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River to River
3:52 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

How Illicit Drugs Come to Iowa

Picture above is heroin powder. Eastern Iowa has seen an uptick in heroin use and overdose deaths in recent years.
forwardstl Flickr

In the 1990s crack cocaine was Iowa's major scourge when it came to illicit drugs. Today methamphetamine poses the most issues for communities and law enforcement though Eastern Iowa has also seen a uptick in heroin use.  Host Ben Kieffer looks at how these legal substances are trafficked into Iowa and from where the drugs originate.

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News
4:28 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Wasendorf's auditor barred from practice

Russell Wasendorf Sr., former CEO of Peregrine Financial Group, outside PFG's now-closed offices in rural Cedar Falls.
courtesy photo

The federal commission that regulates the U.S. futures trading industry has permanently barred the accountant who audited Russell Wasendorf’s Peregrine Financial Group in Cedar Falls and did not discover his fraud scheme. Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports.

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River to River
2:53 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Recidivism

Host Charity Nebbe and Warden Patti Wachtendorf tour the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville.
Emily Woodbury Iowa Public Radio

Iowa Public Radio concludes it's summer series on Iowa's corrections system with a look at recidivism. Host Ben Kieffer learns why offenders in rural areas may be at a disadvantage when they leave prison, and also, what factors influence an offender's likelihood to return to prison? 

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River to River
2:00 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Human Trafficking in Iowa

Human trafficking statistics for the United States from the U.S. Departmetn of State, CASTLA, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
INHERTIANCE magazine / Flickr

Even though slavery was outlawed almost 150 years ago, people are still imprisoned and exploited daily in the United States.

Human traffickers prey on the vulnerable and isolated. Often these individuals are children or teenagers hoping to escape a difficult home life, but instead are captured by predators who sell them for sex.

Today, we listen back to a conversation from November 2012. Host Ben Kieffer hosts a discussion on the prevalence of and how to stop human trafficking in Iowa and nationwide.

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Talk of Iowa
11:42 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Spirituality In Iowa Prisons

A shot from inside the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville, IA
Emily Woodbury / IPR

Prison inmates have a lot of time to think. Some offenders take comfort in their faith, for others it’s a time to explore a new belief system. Today on Talk of Iowa: spirituality behind bars.

Host Charity Nebbe finds out what the Department of Corrections does to meet the spiritual needs of inmates, and she listens to stories from those who have worked in Iowa Prisons, including a pastor, a rabbi, an imam, and a Native American spiritual guide. A former offender joins the conversation as well, to speak to her experience finding religion while incarcerated.

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Talk of Iowa
1:35 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Community Corrections in Iowa

When leaving the Mitchellville prison women are furnished with a basic wardrobe that includes two complete outfits, a winter coat, three pairs of underwear, three pairs of socks, a bra, a set of pajamas, a pair of shoes and a purse.
Emily Woodbury Iowa Public Radio

Probation, parole, work release and other programs are designed to help offenders live as productive members of the community. Host Charity Nebbe continues Iowa Public Radio’s series exploring corrections in Iowa with a look at community corrections from the perspectives of offenders, parole and probation officers and volunteers.

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River to River
12:37 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

2012-2013 U.S. Supreme Court Term Wrap-up

On Thursday, June 28th, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Defense of Marriage Act--also known as DOM--is unconstitutional as it violates the Fifth Amendment which protects against the deprivation of the equal liberty of persons.
DonTaylor50 Flickr

The U.S.

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River to River
3:29 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Commutation, Skylark and the Innocence Project of Iowa

A view from inside the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville.
Credit Emily Woodbury / IPR

In the summer of 1974, Rasberry Williams shot and killed a Waterloo man over a $30 gambling debt.  In April, Governor Terry Branstad granted Williams’ request for commutation, making him eligible for parole.  We continue our corrections series by talking about when a life sentence should be reconsidered.  Then, we learn about Skylark, which works with victims of domestic violence on commutation requests, and the Innocence Project of Iowa, which is about to file its first case.

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Talk of Iowa
3:24 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Crime Victims' Needs

A prisoner knits an afghan to help pay for restitution to victims.
Emily Woodbury

Many severe crimes alter a victim's life forever. People convicted of those crimes might be put behind bars for a very long time or even the rest of their lives.  Join host Charity Nebbe who talks with victims about what they want--and don't want--from the people that committed crimes against them or their family members.  Hear the story of one woman whose daughter was murdered and the personal journey she took getting ready to meet the murderer face-to-face ten years later.

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
9:47 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Does sex offender treatment work?

About 150 sex offenders are enrolled in treatment at Mt. Pleasant Correctional Facility in eastern Iowa.
Credit Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

As we continue our series on corrections in Iowa…here's the second half of our report on sex offender treatment and monitoring.  

About 1 in 8 inmates in Iowa's prison system are sex offenders, and many go through treatment while in prison.  But does it work?

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River to River
3:33 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

The Purpose of Prisons: Where Iowa Fits In

Anamosa State Penitentiary was built in 1898.
Jvstin Flickr

Why do we have prisons?  Are they for retribution or rehabilitation or protection? Also, what are the strengths and weaknesses of Iowa's corrections system? Sarah McCammon steps in for Ben Kieffer to look at how prisons in Iowa stake up against prisons nationwide. 

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
12:00 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Treating Sex Offenders

The sex offender treatment program at the Mt. Pleasant Correctional Facility has room for about 150 inmates.
Sarah McCammon Iowa Public Radio

It’s been just over a month since two girls from Dayton, Iowa were abducted near their bus stop - allegedly by a convicted sex offender who’d served nearly two decades in prison.  Authorities say Michael Klunder abducted the girls and committed suicide later that day.

The fact that Klunder was free at all has prompted questions about how sex offenders are evaluated, treated and monitored. 

This story begins a summer series examining Iowa's correctional system.

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News
12:52 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Body found, suspected to be that of Kathlynn Shepard

Kathlynn Shepard, in a 2012 school photo.
Credit LifeTouch, via the Dayton Leader

A body found in the Des Moines River is suspected to be that of abducted 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard, according to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. An autopsy will be conducted this morning to confirm identification.

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River to River
3:00 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

The Cutting Edge of Forensic Science

Univeristy of South Wales Flickr

Over a hundred years ago, searching for fingerprints became routine in crime scene investigation. In the intervening years the tools of forensic investigation have greatly evolved. Host Ben Kieffer speaks to Iowa State University Mechanical Engineer Daniel Attinger about his research for the U.S.

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
8:04 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Search continues for missing Iowa teen Kathlynn Shepard

Kathlynn Shepard, 15, has been missing since Monday.

State troopers narrowed their search Wednesday morning for 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard. She was abducted Monday while walking home from the bus stop in Dayton, Iowa with a younger girl who escaped soon afterwards. Their suspected abductor was found dead later that day. Despite the efforts search party of more than 300 members of law enforcement and volunteers from the area, Shepard has not been found.

Special Agent Bill Keitzman with the Iowa DCI says Wednesday’s search focuses on a smaller area.

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River to River
1:56 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

The Crime of Stalking

According to the Stalking Resource Center 6.6 million people are stalked in the U.S. every year.
Flickr / daniellehelm

Though stalking became a crime in the state of Iowa in 1994, it’s a difficult charge since in many ways stalking is an “invisible" crime.  Upon examining this crime River to River asks, "What should a person do if they're being stalked?" And also, "What drives stalkers to obsessively harass their victims?"

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River to River
1:40 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Facial Recognition Technology and Police Lineups

Mennecke says that digital signage systems can deteremine a person's age, gender and face.
Brian Mennecke, associate professor of information systems at Iowa State

Facial recognition technology is increasing becoming a part of life, but how is this technology being used and how much is too much?  Brian Mennecke will explain the ways digital advertisements can "read" your face and discuss other commercial uses for facial recognition technology.  Later Gary Wells joins the program to discuss his recently developed proc

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