Iowa Oversight Committee on Justice Reinvestment Reviews Preliminary Results of Community-Based Corrections System Assessment

June 21, 2022

On June 2, 2022, the Iowa Oversight Committee on Justice Reinvestment met for the second time to review the results of a comprehensive assessment of the state’s community-based corrections (CBC) system conducted by the CSG Justice Center.

CSG Justice Center staff have supported the state in assessing changes implemented in response to the pandemic by criminal justice stakeholders across Iowa. This work is part of the state’s use of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) approach, which launched in February 2022. JRI is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance and The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Key findings from the assessment in Iowa include the following:

  • Since March 2020, more than half of CBC cases have closed successfully.
  • Since March 2020, revocations have decreased substantially, and the use of revocations has focused more on addressing public safety concerns.
  • Supervision violations decreased after March 2020, with alcohol/drug and non-public safety threat violations decreasing the most.
  • Iowa lacks enough community-based behavioral health treatment providers to meet the needs of the CBC population.
  • Long waiting lists inhibit CBC officers’ abilities to support clients experiencing a mental health crisis.
  • CBC officers report that many clients do not have funds to pay for treatment services or find affordable housing.
  • CBC clients convicted of a sexual offense have trouble accessing housing and treatment services.
  • Transportation is a significant barrier for clients to access services, especially in rural areas.

Next, CSG Justice Center staff will conduct a racial disproportionality analysis of the CBC population in addition to continued data analysis and stakeholder engagement efforts to answer the following questions:

  1. Did changes that were implemented in March 2020 have a positive, negative, or neutral impact on public safety and CBC operations?
  2. Should Iowa continue and/or enhance these new procedures to increase officers’ ability to successfully supervise individuals in the community?
  3. Do the Iowa Department of Corrections and CBC need any specific resources to successfully supervise individuals in the community?
  4. What data-driven recommendations can maximize potential benefits and resources to improve success for clients in the community?

Final analysis and recommendations will be delivered by the CSG Justice Center to the Oversight Committee for review in October 2022.

 


This project was supported by Grant No. 2019-ZB-BX-K002 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

About the authors


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Greg Halls
Senior Policy Analyst, State Initiatives
Greg Halls provides project management for state-based teams and assists in policy research, analysis, and technical assistance activities for states undergoing the Justice Reinvestment process. In his previous role as a policy analyst on the economic mobility team, he provided
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technical assistance (on- and off-site) to Department of Corrections and tribal grantees in Delaware, Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas, and Navajo Nation for increasing the employability of individuals impacted by the criminal justice system. Additionally, Greg conducted the IRES Pilot Process Evaluation and co-authored the “Integrating Reentry and Employment Strategies (IRES) Pilot Project: Process Evaluation Report.” Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, Greg was a project-research assistant at the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice at Policy Research Associates. As a program associate, he provided technical assistance to nine pilot sites implementing a mental health model in the juvenile justice realm. Greg also coordinated and evaluated juvenile justice trainings delivered to CIT trained professionals and juvenile probation, detention, and corrections professionals. He earned his MA in criminal justice and research from SUNY University at Albany’s School of Criminal Justice.
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    Brenna Callahan
    Public Affairs Manager, Communications and External Affairs
    Brenna Callahan drives strategic media relations and public affairs to advance organization-wide initiatives. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, Brenna managed national communications for a civic engagement nonprofit. She previously developed and managed a communications and economic equity policy
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    portfolio for Mayor Marty Walsh’s Office of Women’s Advancement at the City of Boston. Brenna also worked in both development and operations roles at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, where she managed agency-wide programming. Brenna earned a BA in English from Boston College and an MPA at Suffolk University.
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