Treating Sex Offenders — First in a series

The Mt. Pleasant Correctional Facility houses up to 500 sex offenders at a time, but treatment programs only have space for about 150 prisoners. The recent abduction of two girls from Dayton, Iowa led to questions about how sex offenders are treated and evaluated in prison. Michael Klunder, who allegedly abducted the two girls before committing suicide, was a convicted sex offender who’d served nearly two decades in prison.

Source: Iowa Public Radio

Posted on: June 24, 2013

‘Lifers’ in Iowa prisons leveling off

The number of Iowa prisoners serving life sentences has been rising for decades — aggravating space issues in Iowa’s penitentiaries and racking up costs for things like food and medical care. The number of people serving life sentences in Iowa went from 111 in 1980 to 680 in 2012. This year, that number appears to be holding steady, and officials say they expect to see it decline in the coming years.

Source: The Cedar Rapids Gazette

Posted on: June 4, 2013

Abduction suspect had long history of violence

The man suspected of abducting two Dayton, Iowa girls on Monday had a long history of sexual violence, including an accusation of attempted rape at the age of 15 and years spent in prison after being found guilty of two separate assaults and kidnappings. Michael James Klunder, 42, was found dead of an apparent suicide several hours after the abductions. Law enforcement officers and volunteers spent Wednesday searching for Kathlynn Shepard, 15, who was still missing as of Thursday morning.

Source: Des Moines Register

Posted on: May 23, 2013