Criminal Justice

Howard County Jail closed as COVID outbreak hits sheriff, inmates

BY: and - December 3, 2020

An entire jail in central Missouri is empty today due to a COVID-19 outbreak among inmates and staff. The Howard County Sheriff’s Department closed Saturday and sent the 15 detainees to Cooper County. Sheriff Mike Neal, at least one deputy and most of the jail staff are infected with the coronavirus. The department posted a […]

Missouri lawmakers file bills to improve access to HIV treatment, reduce stigma

BY: - December 1, 2020

The first step for a person to receive care for HIV is knowing whether they have it. But under a Missouri law passed in the late 1980s, it also means people living with HIV could face prosecution if they expose someone to it. A bipartisan trio of Missouri lawmakers announced Tuesday that they plan to […]

Five years after Ferguson report, some say progress has come too slow

BY: - November 24, 2020

Like so many around the country, Dr. L.J. Punch was glued to the television on the night of Nov. 24, 2014. That night, the country learned that then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the Aug. 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. Punch was a critical-care surgeon working in Houston […]

To prevent abuse at religious schools, Missouri lawmakers recommend new regulations

BY: - November 19, 2020

In order to improve safety and understand the scope of unlicensed youth residential facilities throughout Missouri, lawmakers are recommending every facility be registered, background checks be required and that three substantiated reports of abuse and neglect result in children being removed. Registration with the state would include a requirement that facilities conduct background checks on […]

Q&A with Cori Bush, Missouri’s first black Congresswoman

BY: - November 12, 2020

Congresswoman-elect Cori Bush has told the same story ever since her first campaign in 2016. At one point in her life, she was a working nurse and single mother living out of her car with her children — never imagining she’d ever find herself in that situation.  “I was that person running for my life […]

Police chokeholds, no-knock warrants spark debate in Missouri House committee

BY: - November 11, 2020

As state lawmakers mull the idea of restricting police use of chokeholds or no-knock warrants, they are facing pushback from law enforcement organizations who contend decisions should be made at the local level. The House Special Committee on Criminal Justice met for three hours on Monday to explore the possibility of passing legislation restricting these […]

Rep. Sheila Solon

Kids reported abuse at schools where Missouri has no oversight. Lawmakers want to change that

BY: - November 10, 2020

Despite dozens of students coming forward sharing allegations of abuse they suffered at Christian reform schools across Missouri, the state Department of Social Services said Monday that they have no oversight over such facilities. That’s because they’re unlicensed — and allowed to be under a Missouri law that exempts facilities operated by religious organizations. And […]

Crime vs. COVID: Parson, Galloway make closing arguments in Missouri governor’s race

BY: - October 30, 2020

In their final push to election day, Republican Gov. Mike Parson and his Democratic challenger, State Auditor Nicole Galloway, aim to turn out base voters and win over undecided Missourians by linking their opponent to unpopular policies of others. For Parson, that means an emphasis on supporting law enforcement over protesters demanding police reforms and […]

Missouri DOC, Corizon agree to spend $50 million to treat inmates with hepatitis C

BY: - October 29, 2020

Michael Postawko’s attorneys say he contracted hepatitis C at the Jefferson City Correctional Center in 2012. At first, he didn’t have any symptoms. But then two years later, he began experiencing chronic fatigue, fever and abdominal pain. While the prison medical staff provided him medication for his symptoms, they didn’t treat him for the virus, […]

More than 67,000 convicted felons in Missouri can’t vote in 2020

BY: - October 28, 2020

About 67,800 convicted felons in Missouri cannot vote in the November election because they are on parole and probation, according to a new study. The Sentencing Project’s new study found that Missouri is among 16 states that don’t allow convicted felons to vote if they are on parole or probation. It estimates that about 22,900 Missourians […]

KC Freedom Project’s Latahra Smith answers call for justice from wrongfully convicted

BY: - October 27, 2020

TOPEKA — KC Freedom Project founder Latahra Smith savors the rare court victory overturning a conviction and freeing someone falsely thrown in prison. There is an inevitable celebration of newfound liberty with hugs from family and smiles for cameras, Smith said. Everything seems good, Smith said, but she also appreciates that years of unwarranted incarceration […]

Missouri AG’s office denies allegations it broke law in medical marijuana lawsuit

BY: - October 26, 2020

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office dismissed accusations that his office and the state department of health illegally concealed records and violated the Sunshine Law during the course of a medical marijuana lawsuit, calling the charges “frivolous” and “baseless.” The accusation arose last week in a motion seeking sanctions against Schmitt’s office and the Missouri […]