Iowa Governor Creates Criminal Justice Reform Working Group

By 
Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

The governor of Iowa is establishing a working group focused on criminal justice reform.

The announcement by Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds came Oct. 15 at the seventh annual Iowa Summit on Justice & Disparities, sponsored by the NAACP.

The Governor’s Fueling Ongoing Collaboration and Uncovering Solutions Committee on Criminal Justice Reform will look to build on efforts to reduce criminal behavior and give people who commit offenses a second chance.

“Iowans recognize the power of redemption and second chances, which is why I have made criminal justice reform a key priority for my administration,” Reynolds said in a news release.

Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, a former state public defender, will be the group’s chairman. Other members will be announced at a later date.

“We have taken positive steps over the past few years, and now we are poised to do even more to reduce recidivism and build a culture of reform and continuous improvement in our criminal justice system,” Gregg said.

By December, the committee will recommend ways to reduce recidivism rates through successful offender re-entry. The results will be part of a package of proposals in the Iowa General Assembly.

Next year, the committee will look into the issue of unbiased criminal justice, including policing, prosecution and corrections.

In a release, Reynolds said she plans to continue calling for a state constitutional amendment to restore felons’ right to vote after they complete their sentences.

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