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City, county discuss sharing facility

(Source: “City, county discuss sharing facility,” Press Citizen, 1 October 2013, by Josh O’Leary) With proposals for a new county justice center twice nixed by voters, Johnson County and Iowa City officials are now floating the idea of a shared law enforcement facility. Iowa City Manager Tom Markus said the possibility of addressing the police department’s […]

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The Register’s Editorial: Nation must deal with huge prison numbers

[Source: “The Register’s Editorial: Nation must deal with huge prison numbers,” The Des Moines Register, 15 August 2013, by Des Moines Register Editorial Board] U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is right that the criminal sentencing system is broken in this country. Holder has only limited powers to fix it, however. The rest is up to […]

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Johnson County Supervisors looking for input on how to improve jail and courthouse

[Source: “Johnson County Supervisors looking for input on how to improve jail and courthouse,” KWWL, 10 August 2013, by Michelle Corless] After referendums to build a new Justice Center in Johnson County failed, county leaders are trying to determine their next step and they’re looking for ideas. In May 2013 and last November, voters turned down […]

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Justice center friends and foes talk project’s future

[Source: “Justice center friends and foes talk project’s future,” Iowa City Press Citizen, 10 August 2013, by Aly Brown] Above: Listening Posts: Johnson County Board of Supervisors Chairperson Janelle Rettig talks about what she hopes will come out of a series of listening posts dedicated to hearing residents’ concerns about future jail and courthouse development. […]

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Iowa City Working to Improve Relations Between Police and Minorities

[Source: “Critics: Iowa City missing crucial opportunity,” Press Citizen, 18 June 2013] Critics: Iowa City missing crucial opportunity Council OKs plans aimed to improve minorities-police relationships; city to review regularly, track progress City administrators are making small changes aimed at improving relations between police and minorities but not the major overhaul that’s necessary, some critics […]

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Johnson Co. Supervisors Discuss Needs for Courthouse & Jail

[Source: “Johnson Co. Supervisors Discuss Needs for Courthouse & Jail,” KCRG, 14 May 2013, by Hayley Bruce] IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Johnson County Board of Supervisors is going back to the drawing board to fix immediate safety and security needs at the jail and courthouse after a $43.5 million bond issue for the justice […]

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County ponders next move after justice center defeat

[Source: “County ponders next move after justice center defeat,” Press Citizen, 14 May 2013, by Lee Hermiston] Now what? That’s been the question facing the Johnson County Board of Supervisors for a week now. Last week, the $43.5 million bond referendum that would have funded the $46.2 million justice center received 54 percent of support […]

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Who Really Won? – Commentary by John Deeth

[Source: “Who Really Won,” John Deeth Blog, 8 May 2013] It feels kind of weird to, for the second time, come out of the justice center vote with significantly more votes than the other side, yet lose. Clearly, a majority of the community is convinced of the need for this plan. Maybe even a super […]

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Johnson County voters decide justice center’s fate today

[Source: “Johnson County voters decide justice center’s fate today,” Gazette, 7 May 2013] Johnson County residents will head to the polls today to cast their vote on a $43.5 million bond issue to pay for a new justice center. Polls are open today from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Plans for the justice center include a […]

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Press Citizen Supports Justice Center – “Vote ‘YES’ and keep addressing concerns”

[Source: “Our View: Vote ‘yes’ and keep addressing concerns,” Press Citizen, 30 April 2013, by the Press Citizen Editorial Board] As a newspaper editorial board, our natural inclination is to side with those who are fighting against the power structure. To fight for those who have documented how about 40 percent of the people in […]

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Gazette Supports Justice Center

[Source: “New Vote,” Gazette Editorial Board, 28 April 2013] Just a few months after Johnson County voters declined to approve a bond to build a new justice center, the issue is back on the ballot for May 7. Although the proposal has changed slightly in response to critics’ concerns about size, cost and design, our […]

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Johnson County officials: current jail technology “on its last leg”

[Source: “Johnson County officials: current jail technology ‘on its last leg’,” Daily Iowan, 26 April 2013] As the May 7 vote for a new Johnson County justice Center nears, county officials face yet another hurdle in the maltimillion-dollar project. During a Thursday morning Board of Supervisors meeting, county facilities manager Eldon Slaughter and Chief Deputy […]

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Johnson County Could Spend Millions to Improve Current Jail

[Source: “Johnson County Could Spend Millions to Improve Current Jail,” KCRG, 25 April 2013] JOHNSON COUNTY – Johnson County could spend millions to improve the current jail if voters say no to a new justice center. This morning, the Johnson County Supervisors discussed potential jail improvements. They say they’d have to take care of a […]

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Debate heating up over Johnson County Justice Center vote

[Source: “Debate heating up over Johnson County Justice Center vote,” Press Citizen, 24 April 2013] With just two weeks until Johnson County voters head back to the polls, the county’s justice center debate is heating up. Johnson County residents will vote May 7 on a $43.5 million bond issue to pay for the building. Plans for […]

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Johnson County justice center still divisive

[Source: “Johnson County justice center still divisive,” The Daily Iowan, 24 April 2013] Opponents of the proposed Johnson County Justice Center say the revised cost is still too high, and that changes made to the plan are insufficient. “This is a nominal reduction, and they have essentially thrown a bone to the public,” said Aleksey […]

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Focus turns to jail alternatives in Johnson County justice center debate

[Source: “Focus turns to jail alternatives in Johnson County justice center debate,” The Gazette, 21 April 2013] Supporters say space is needed, but opponents say alternatives not being explored IOWA CITY — The group meets Monday mornings in the Johnson County Attorney’s Office to see who they can try to get out of the county […]

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League of Women Voters strongly backs justice center proposal

[Source: “League of Women Voters strongly backs justice center proposal,” Press Citizen, 14 April 2013] The League of Women Voters of Johnson County strongly endorses passage of the proposed May 7 justice center bond referendum. The league has long believed that open and responsive local governments should provide their citizens with excellent public services and […]

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Vote ‘no’ on justice center, but ‘yes’ for courthouse

[Source: “Vote ‘no’ on justice center, but ‘yes’ for courthouse,” Press Citizen, 11 April 2013, by Nicholas Johnson] Note: This article is included here because it is part of a dialog about why there should be a unified courthouse and jail. Jim McCarragher has written a response to this article. There’s a happy, win-win approach […]

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