Criminal Justice

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 […]

Medical marijuana lawsuit: Missouri health department illegally concealed documents

BY: - October 23, 2020

A Missouri family that sued after being denied a medical marijuana license is alleging the state department of health and Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office illegally concealed documents and violated open records laws in order to undercut their lawsuit. The allegations — which are included in a 28-page motion seeking sanctions against the state that […]

Barrett nomination advances to U.S. Senate floor with a GOP-only vote

BY: and - October 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, as Democrats boycotted the markup in a show of protest. The 12 Republicans on the panel speedily voted on Barrett’s nomination and sent it to the Senate floor. The full Senate will […]

Nonprofit law firm hosting free educational session on sealing criminal records

BY: - October 21, 2020

Criminal records often create barriers for employment, education and housing. So how do people get their criminal records sealed, including records of conviction, arrests and even arrest where charges were not filed? That legal process is called expungement. And the ArchCity Defenders, a nonprofit law firm, is hosting a free virtual education session tonight to […]