Tag Archives: Commentary

Laws should be changed, but justice center is needed

[Source: “Laws should be changed, but justice center is needed,” Press Citizen, 1 May 2013, by Bob Welsh, chairman of the Johnson County Task Force on Aging.] Racial disparity and the incarceration of non-violent criminals in our jail are valid but separate issues that will not be addressed by the May justice center vote. The […]

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Discussion of peripheral issues is detrimental

[Source: “Discussion of peripheral issues is detrimental,” Press Citizen, 1 May 2013, by Greg Roth, instructor of criminal justice at Kirkwood Community College and a former member of the Iowa City Police Citizen Review Board.] In order to answer these questions, there must be an accurate standard of measurement of racial disparity. A common standard is […]

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Local statistics reflect a national trend

[Source: “Local statistics reflect a national trend,” Press Citizen, 1 May 2013, by Bob Elliott, a former member of the Johnson County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee and a former member of the Iowa City Council.] One of the arguments against approving the referendum for a new justice center is the incarceration disparity in percentage of racial/ethnic […]

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Racial disparity is not going to be solved by building or not building a new jail

[Source: “Racial disparity is not going to be solved by building or not building a new jail,” Press Citizen, 1 May 2013, by Orlando Dial, pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church Iowa City.] I have worked on issues of disparities in the courts for years, starting in the 1980s when I was the president […]

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Proposed justice center would be highly efficient

[Source: “Proposed justice center would be highly efficient,” Press Citizen, 1 May 2013, by Lonny Pulkrabek, sheriff of Johnson County.] In November of 2005, Johnson County received a report from the Durrant Group that looked at this project and looked at four different locations: • Site 1 was at the existing courthouse and gave a cost […]

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Additional space at the jail would help expedite cases

[Source: “Additional space at the jail would help expedite cases,” Press Citizen, 1 May 2013, by Jerri Allen, the executive officer of the Sixth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services.] The Sixth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services, its employees and volunteers serve individuals sentenced to probation/parole. In Johnson County, staff provides community supervision to […]

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John Whiston Clinical Professor of Law – University of Iowa College of Law – Speaking on Jail Alternatives

In the video below, John Whiston speaks about Jail Alternatives and the efficiency of a unified Justice Center. John is a Clinical Professor at the University of Iowa College of Law.

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I.C. delay doesn’t provide solutions

[Source: “I.C. delay doesn’t provide solutions,” Gazette, 1 May 2013, by Barbara Beaumont] 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 plan for public […]

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Past time to update jail, courthouse

[Source: “Past time to update jail, courthouse,” Press Citizen, 1 May 2013, by Mary L. Larew] When I decided to write a letter regarding the jail initiative, I looked back to the letter I wrote in 2004 supporting Lonny Pulkrabek’s bid for the office of sheriff. Here are excerpts from what I wrote almost nine […]

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Don’t just kick the can down the road

[Source: “Don’t just kick the can down the road,” Press Citizen, 1 May 2013, by Steve Dolezal] A justice center bond referendum is on the ballot Tuesday, and it’s important that the citizens of Johnson County vote “yes” and support this much-needed building. The current jail was built to house 46 inmates and expanded throughout the […]

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Need for a new jail has become critical

[Source: “Need for a new jail has become critical,” Press Citizen, 1 May 2013, by Brad Kunkel] I’ve been a deputy at the Johnson County Sheriff’s office since 2001, and worked in the jail for over five years. I can tell you firsthand that the need for a new jail is critical. I can also […]

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Focus on problem, not peripherals

[Source: “Focus on problem, not peripherals,” Press Citizen, 1 May 2013, by Sue Ellen Crosslea] I have followed discussions about the proposed justice center, and my concern is why so many people are focused on problems peripheral to the project. There are many important services a justice center would offer, and those are being side-tracked. […]

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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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County Dems support justice center bond

[Source: “County Dems support justice center bond,” Press Citizen, 30 April 2013, by Mike Carberry] Johnson County desperately needs to upgrade the quality of our justice infrastructure. We need a justice center that is safe, disability-accessible and secure on both sides of the judicial bench. We do not have this now. We are one of […]

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Time for county to get it right: vote ‘yes’

[Source: “Time for county to get it right: vote ‘yes’,” Press Citizen, 30 April 2013, by Tom Baldridge] I find it interesting that the letters to the editors about Tuesday’s special election tend to follow the same path. If the writer is in favor of the bond issue, the facility under discussion is called a […]

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Justice center is not just a ‘jail’ issue

[Source: “Justice center is not just a ‘jail’ issue,” Press Citizen, 30 April 2013, by Leroy Nida] I want talk about some of the issues I hear associated with a new justice center. First, I want to point out this is not just a “jail” issue; it is also a courthouse issue. Johnson County would […]

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Justice center first, then other issues

[Source: “Justice center first, then other issues,” Press Citizen, 29 April 2013, by Katy Hansen] It is not a good idea to hold a new justice center hostage to a whole series of other issues such as incarceration rates, racial disparity and violation of rights. The solutions to space problems are not the same as […]

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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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