Miss Wisconsin (also Miss America) Laura Kaeppeler made her father’s prison time her Miss America 2012 platform. Laura Kaeppeler’s goal is to help children of incarcerated parents feel less alone and foster bonds with their parents. This seems like a worthy cause that hasn’t gotten as much attention as it deserves, considering the fact that the United States has the highest incarceration per capita rate in the world. Russia and Rwanda are next on the list. US also leads the world in total prison population (2.3 million), followed by China with 1.6 million prisoners. The United States has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners but only 5 percent of its population.
Miss America’s father, Jeff Kaeppeler, served 18 months in federal prison for a mail fraud conviction approximately ten years ago. He was an agent for Homestead Investments which was essentially a real estate Ponzi scheme that defrauded at least 117 investors out of approximately $6.3 million.