crime

Billie Jo O'Berry photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Assistant Lansing city attorney Billie Jo O’Berry is one of four candidates running to replace Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III when he resigns this July. We talk with her about her career as assistant city attorney for the city of Lansing and why she is running for the Ingham County Prosecutor.


Andrea Larkin photo
Courtesy photo / 54B District Court

This week, 11 participants of East Lansing's inaugural sobriety court class graduated from the program. Current State’s Kevin Lavery talks with District Court Judge Andrea Larkin.


Schuette Wrigglesworth photo
Kevin Lavery / WKAR

Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III faces 15 criminal counts, most of them involving soliciting prostitutes and pandering, a felony. We talk with Lansing City Pulse reporter Todd Heywood about the charges and how the City Pulse became aware of police concerns about Dunnings going back to last summer.


Stuart Dunnings III photo
Michigan Municipal League / flickr creative commons

A recent Supreme Court ruling means more than 2,200 juveniles nationwide serving life sentences now have a chance at lighter sentences or parole. Current State talks with Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III about his concerns over resentencing.


Stuart Dunnings III photo
Michigan Municipal League / flickr creative commons

Ingham County officials are charging more residents with making terror threats. Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings discusses what’s behind the surge and how one person’s “terror threat” is another’s “free speech.”


WKAR File Photo

In 2014, federal officials investigated MSU’s response to campus sexual harassment and assault. They ordered reforms. Two new university officials recently assumed leadership positions in the school’s effort. Current State talks with Ande Durojaiye and Jessica Norris of MSU’s Office of Institutional Equity.


African-American women are more than two times more likely than white women to be victims of violent crime. But according to a new book from Oakland Community College Professor Cheryl Neely, there’s a huge racial disparity in how the media covers the death of those women. We talk to Neely about the book.


Youth Behind Bars report cover image
Courtesy image / Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency

There’s been increasing scrutiny in recent years of how Michigan treats juveniles who are tried and convicted as adults in the state’s justice system. A bipartisan coalition of Michigan lawmakers is proposing big changes to the way the state handles these cases. We talk to Sen. Rick Jones, one of the sponsors of the bill package being introduced Wednesday, and Kristen Staley, Associate Director of Youth Justice Policy for the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency.


Meridian Township Police patch
Courtesy image / Meridian Township Police Department

For 17 years, the Meridian Township Police Department has invited those it serves to get an up close look at day to day life behind the Thin Blue Line. The township’s Police Citizens Academy is an outreach tool that both officers and participants say pays dividends in trust. Current State’s Kevin Lavery previews this year’s session.


Mike Yankowski photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Medical cases involving the use of heroin are on the rise in Lansing. Current State talks with police chief Mike Yankowski about efforts to deal with the increasing usage of heroin use in the city.

WOOD-TV

Social media and the internet have helped solve a Michigan-based disappearance dating back more than 30-years. 17-year old Carol Ann Cole of Kalamazoo vanished in 1980 shortly after leaving Michigan for Texas. For about as long, Louisiana authorities had been trying to identify the body of a young woman found in woods near Shreveport. Posts on Facebook and Craigslist, described as “happenstance”, helped bring together authorities and members of Cole’s family in February. It was six days after the Facebook page was launched.

SCOTUS case gives juvenile lifers new hope for release

Dec 22, 2014
Chris Miller / flickr creative commons

Michigan has the second highest number of juvenile lifers in the U.S. Those are people who were sentenced to life in prison without parole before they turned 18. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sentencing laws mandating life without parole for juvenile offenders amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. Michigan was one of a few states not to apply that ruling retroactively. But now, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court could determine whether those juvenile lifers sentenced before 2012 will get a shot at release.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

We’re halfway through December, and you’ve probably noticed retailers aren’t the only people competing for your cold, hard cash. ‘Tis the season for charitable organizations to ramp up their efforts to solicit donations. Most groups out there do represent worthy causes, but the holidays also tend to bring out the less-than-legitimate actors hoping to pull off the perfect scam.

Flickr - West Midlands Police

The recent deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland have re-ignited the debate over whether police officers should be made to wear body cameras to record their interactions. Some law enforcement agencies around the country have been experimenting with the technology. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is expected to announce next month that all city police will soon wear body cameras. In Ingham County, sheriff’s deputies working at the city jail are already trying them out.

Activists refer to human trafficking as “modern day slavery,” wherein people, often young and often female, are subjected into work, prostitution or other dehumanizing behavior. Michigan will be strengthening efforts to combat human trafficking in 2015. Twenty-one new laws are scheduled to take effect on January first.

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