Tag Archives: Commentary

Attorney General Eric Holder Speech – Video and Transcript – San Francisco

[Source: “Attorney General Eric Holder Delivers Remarks at the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates,” Justice Department, 12 August 2013] * * * The following is a transcript of Attorney General Eric Holder’s remarks at the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates on 12 August 2013 in […]

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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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Moving forward on jail, courthouse requires more buy-in from Iowa City

[Source: “Moving forward on jail, courthouse requires more buy-in from Iowa City,” Press Citizen, 10 May 2013, by John Deeth] Tuesday, for the second time in six months, “Yes” came out of the justice center vote with significantly more votes than “No,” but not quite enough for the required 60 percent supermajority. Clearly most of […]

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Justice Center – Results, Politics, and Next Steps

[Source: Sullivan’s Salvos, 10 May 2013, by Rod Sullivan] Justice Center Results Voters in Johnson County went to the polls last Tuesday, and the Justice Center Measure failed by a margin of 54-46. (Because Iowa requires a supermajority for bond issues, 60% is required. So despite twice getting a clear majority of the public support, […]

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Election Outcome Commentary by El Brad Field

I seriously do not know what the anti-Authority/anti-Justice people think that they have gained? The police are going to continue arresting people at the same rate they are now. The only thing they accomplished is guarantee that those arrested will be shipped like cattle to other counties. That those working and visiting the courthouse will […]

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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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Press Citizen Editorial Board: If you haven’t done so already, go vote today

[Source: “If you haven’t done so already, go vote today,” Press Citizen, 7 May 2013, by the Press Citizen Editorial Board] Today is the third election this year in the Johnson County area. In February, a little more than 8 percent of eligible voters in the Iowa City Community School District came out to approve a […]

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Volunteer Opportunities – Jail and Prison Outreach

[Source: “Vote ‘yes’ then volunteer at jail,” Press Citizen, 6 May 2013, by Patricia Knox] For four years I have been a volunteer at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in the Oakdale Prison Community Choir. In the winter of 2009, I took the basic workshop offered by the Alternatives to Violence Project that was […]

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Viewpoints: Corrections Officer with 30-Years Experience

[Source: “Common sense says vote ‘yes’ on new jail,” Press Citizen, 6 May 2013, by Mike Quinlan] In the past few months we have read many different opinions about building a new jail for Johnson County. As with many political issues, both sides can find a way to use statistics to their advantage. “Who do […]

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Daily Iowan Supports the Justice Center – Editorial Board: Vote ‘yes’ on the Justice Center

[Source: “Editorial: Vote ‘yes’ on the Justice Center,” Daily Iowan, 6 May 2013, by the Daily Iowan Editorial Board] In November 2012, when the original Johnson County Justice Center was presented to the public for a vote, the Editorial Board recommended that the voters reject the bond referendum. The original center narrowly failed to garner […]

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Johnson County justice center: If not now, then when?

[Source: “Johnson County justice center: If not now, then when?,” Press Citizen, 5 May 2013, by Dave Parsons] On the bright side, it appears that everyone now agrees on the need for updated and expanded courthouse and jail facilities in Johnson County. Yet somehow there are a number of factions with competing agendas (some mutually […]

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Do the right thing on justice center

[Source: “Do the right thing on justice center,” Press Citizen, 5 May 2013, by Jim McCarragher] The $43.5 million bond issue in Tuesday’s election is a public safety issue. It proposes a secure justice center combining the sheriff’s office, jail and court-related offices, all attached to the existing Johnson County Courthouse. Our historic courthouse and […]

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Make courthouse ADA-compliant

[Source: “Make courthouse ADA-compliant,” Press Citizen, 3 May 2013, by Karla Smith] I am so proud to live in a community that feels it is important to have a safe and easily accessible courthouse that meets the guidelines for the Americans with Disabilities Act. A courthouse with enough courtrooms to be able to give our citizens […]

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Incarceration rate lower than average

[Source: “Incarceration rate lower than average,” Press Citizen, 3 May 2013, by Greg Johnson] I believe that many in our community have the misperception that Johnson County tends to lock up more people than most other counties. In fact, we have one of the lowest incarceration rates in the nation. We’re also well below the […]

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New jail for 195 inmates is immediately necessary

[Source: “New jail for 195 inmates is immediately necessary,” Press Citizen, 3 May 2013, by John Whiston, a Clinical Professor at the University of Iowa College of Law.] Every year, my students represent about 100 people charged with indictable misdemeanors. I would be one of the first to say that over-incarceration of non-violent offenders is a real […]

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Courthouse needs much more space

[Source: “Courthouse needs much more space,” Press Citizen, 2 May 2013, by Margaret and Chuck Felling] We write in support of the proposal to improve the civil/criminal law complex for Johnson County. That complex is more than courtrooms and jail cells. In 1984, our court-appointed duties as conservator for our son began at least annual reports […]

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Justice center needs your support

[Source: “Justice center needs your support,” Press Citizen, 2 May 2013, by Patrick R. Grady, Chief Judge, Sixth Judicial District] Last fall, I wrote about how our caseloads continue to grow in what now is the fifth most populous county in Iowa. Since last fall, we have listened to the voters and have downsized our […]

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County, city in need of a Racial Equity Impact Assessment

[Source: “County, city in need of a Racial Equity Impact Assessment,” Press Citizen, 1 May 2013, by Dorothy Whiston, a member of the Johnson County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee.] Racial disparities in our criminal justice system and the over-incarceration of non-violent offenders have been at crisis proportions for many years both nationally and locally. However, opposition […]

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