Tag Archives: letter to the editor

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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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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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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Don’t saddle county with inadequate jail, courthouse

[Source: “Don’t saddle county with inadequate jail, courthouse,” Press Citizen, 2 May 2013, by Dorothy Whiston] Don’t saddle county with inadequate jail, courthouse People across the political spectrum agree that racial disparities in our criminal justice system are at crisis proportions and have been for some time, both nationally and locally. I also believe opposition to […]

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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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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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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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