Laura Sullivan http://kplu.org en Enforcing Prison Rape Elimination Standards Proves Tricky http://kplu.org/post/enforcing-prison-rape-elimination-standards-proves-tricky On a recent day at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women, inmates in jumpsuits peek out of their cells to see three men with clipboards walk into the housing unit. These men are auditors doing a practice inspection. They're here to see if the facility complies with a federal law called the <a href="http://ojp.gov/programs/prisonrapeelimination.htm" target="_blank">Prison Rape Elimination Act</a>, or PREA.<p>Auditors Steven Cubello and Howard Ray start at a line of phones. There's no sign with the toll-free hotline that inmates can use to report an assault. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 20:30:57 +0000 Laura Sullivan 15622 at http://kplu.org Enforcing Prison Rape Elimination Standards Proves Tricky Government's Empty Buildings Are Costing Taxpayers Billions http://kplu.org/post/governments-empty-buildings-are-costing-taxpayers-billions On a street corner in downtown Washington, D.C., David Wise is opening a century-old iron gate in front of an old, boarded-up brick building.<p>Wise is an investigator for the Government Accountability Office, the government's watchdog group. His mission is to figure out <a href="http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-645" target="_blank">why the government owns so many buildings</a>, like this one, that it doesn't use.<p>The 132-year-old brick structure is sitting on prime real estate six blocks from the White House. Wed, 12 Mar 2014 20:29:44 +0000 Laura Sullivan 14777 at http://kplu.org Government's Empty Buildings Are Costing Taxpayers Billions Missouri Execution Stalled Over Lethal Drugs In Short Supply http://kplu.org/post/missouri-execution-stalled-over-lethal-drugs-short-supply A few years ago, Missouri, like other states, was having trouble finding lethal execution drugs. Europe was balking, and U.S. drug manufacturers didn't want a part of it.<p>So Missouri turned to a place called a compounding pharmacy to make up the needed drugs based on the ingredients. Wed, 19 Feb 2014 00:25:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 13797 at http://kplu.org To Rent Or Buy? For The Federal Government, It's Complicated http://kplu.org/post/rent-or-buy-federal-government-its-complicated The Bureau of Indian Affairs has been in the hot seat in recent weeks for mishandling the leases for some of its office space. Wed, 12 Feb 2014 17:14:38 +0000 Laura Sullivan 13562 at http://kplu.org Spike In Heroin Use Can Be Traced To Prescription Pads http://kplu.org/post/spike-heroin-use-can-be-traced-prescription-pads The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has brought attention to a grim reality of drug abuse in America — most notably with the increasing use of heroin.<p>Hoffman was found dead in his apartment on Sunday, and New York police are investigating his death as a possible drug overdose. Hoffman struggled with drug addiction throughout his career.<p>This is not the first time heroin use has skyrocketed in the United States. In the 1970s and '80s, the drug took hold in urban centers. Tue, 04 Feb 2014 23:43:08 +0000 Laura Sullivan 13245 at http://kplu.org Spike In Heroin Use Can Be Traced To Prescription Pads A Night At The Rock: Former Alcatraz Inmate Journeys Back http://kplu.org/post/night-rock-former-alcatraz-inmate-journeys-back For 29 years, Alcatraz — the notorious prison off the coast of San Francisco — housed some of the nation's worst criminals: Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly, Birdman Robert Stroud.<p>Today, 50 years after it closed, it's a museum. And earlier this year, the National Park Service gave Bill Baker, a former inmate, special permission to stay the night in his old cell. He was 24 when he was transferred to The Rock. Today, he's 80.<p>Baker, who was born in Kentucky during the Great Depression, has spent a lot of his life in and out of federal prison. Mon, 14 Oct 2013 20:18:55 +0000 Laura Sullivan 10452 at http://kplu.org A Night At The Rock: Former Alcatraz Inmate Journeys Back Fans Restore Luke Skywalker's Boyhood Home http://kplu.org/post/fans-save-luke-skywalkers-tunisia-home-star-wars Mark Dermul is a serious <em>Star Wars</em> fan. He was just 7 years old in 1977 when the original movie hit the theaters. As soon as the huge Star Destroyer flew across the opening scene, he was hooked.<p>"It hasn't left me," he says. At 42, Dermul now guides tours throughout North Africa, visiting sites that were featured in the blockbuster films.<p>On one 2010 trip back to planet Tatooine — OK, Tunisia — he and his tour group noticed that Luke Skywalker's boyhood home was decaying. Sun, 01 Jul 2012 17:54:02 +0000 Laura Sullivan 5461 at http://kplu.org Fans Restore Luke Skywalker's Boyhood Home