People in Iowa may have heard about an important Supreme Court ruling from April that could put clear limits on the ability of police to detain motorists longer than necessary to complete the purpose of their stop. This is a very important ruling, because it sends the message to police all over the country that they cannot harass detained motorists, but instead must respect their time and let them go once the purpose of their stop has been completed.
People in Iowa might be interested to know how many crimes occur in the state each year, and how the crime rate in Iowa measures up against other states in the U.S. Going back about 50 years, conviction and arrest data is generally available for most felonies and serious misdemeanors, and from this voluminous data we can begin to see a picture emerge.
Residents in Iowa might be interested in taking a look at the statistics when it comes to the past, present and future of drug crimes and incarceration rate in the United States. Over the last several decades the U.S. has spent an unconscionable amount of money and resources on the "war" on illegal drugs and controlled substances, but there may not be much to show for it.
Residents in Iowa may remember the War on Drugs, the name officially and unofficially given to the reaction of past political regimes in their attempt to stop the widespread use of street drugs across the U.S. The popular wisdom at the time was that increasing the criminal penalty for people convicted of drug offenses, even mere possession, would curb drug use. From the 1980's through the early 2000's, the number of people in U.S. prisons for drug crimes absolutely skyrocketed, even though the effect on the drug trade was much less drastic.
People in Iowa, especially younger people and college students, may have heard a lot about the state of drug use across the United States and wonder what it means for them. While many states and cities around the country have moved towards the decriminalization of drug possession, especially marijuana, Iowa law is as strict as ever when it comes to penalizing drug offenses.