Jennifer Moore

KSMU Contributor/Missouri State University Journalist-in-Residence

As the Journalist-in-Residence at Missouri State University, Jennifer teaches undergraduate and graduate students, oversees a semester-long, team reporting project, and contributes weekly stories to KSMU Radio in the area of public affairs journalism.

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28-year-old Brandi is flipping through children’s books at Christos House, the domestic violence shelter north of West Plains. We’re using only her first name to ensure her safety.

“Let’s see, we’ve got ‘Star Wars: the Clone Wars.’ And we’ve got ‘Jackrabbit Goalie,’ ‘At Daddy’s on Saturdays,’ ‘March of the Penguins,” she says, reading some of the book titles.

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Missouri’s domestic violence shelters are almost all operating at full capacity:  they had to reject women and children seeking shelter more than 21,000 times last year.  In today’s part of our series, “Turned Away,” KSMU’s Jennifer Davidson looks at the funding for Missouri’s shelters, and how that money is being spent.

Jennifer Davidson, KSMU

62-year-old Joan Sisco of Springfield is doing her best to get comfortable on a donated couch.   But her attempt is futile: her upper body is mostly purple and brown from her boyfriend’s July 4 attack. That’s the night she received multiple blows because she served another man a cup of coffee.

We’re at the Respite Care shelter for homeless women with medical needs, which operates under the umbrella of The Kitchen, Inc. Most nights, Joan’s either at Safe to Sleep, an overnight shelter for homeless women, or sleeping in her car behind a storage shed.

In our final segment of our five-part series “Justice for All: Missouri’s Public Defender System in Crisis,” KSMU’s Jennifer Moore looks at the options for the system’s future.

Early next year, the Supreme Court of Missouri is expected to rule on whether public defenders can continue closing their doors to new clients when their caseloads get too high. But even if the Court says they can, the question of how to provide criminal defense attorneys to Missouri’s poor will remain unanswered.

In this segment of our series “Justice for All: The Missouri Public Defender System in Crisis,” we’re taking a tour of the United States to see how other places are running their public defender systems—and what Missouri might learn from them. KSMU’s Jennifer Moore reports.

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