Vol. 3 #15 October 28, 2012
JRC Recognizes Carlos Jayne at Annual Meeting
On Thursday, October 18, representatives of the organizations that comprise Justice Reform Consortium gathered at The Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church on Rittenhouse Street in Des Moines. The first order of business was to honor the founder of the Justice Reform Consortium, the Rev. Carlos Jayne. The consortium came about because Carlos had a vision of an organization committed to working to reform the criminal justice system in Iowa, from one based on retributive justice and revenge to one based on restorative justice. This was not the first time that Carlos had a vision of bringing people together to work for justice: It has been the framework of his life!
Carlos spent 20 years working in the business world, but at the age of 42 he had a vision of a different life; one based on commitment to living out his faith as a pastor in the United Methodist Church. He received a bachelor’s degree in Divinity from Iliff School of Divinity in Denver, Co. He served churches in Wales in the U.K., New Jersey, New York, and several in Des Moines. He also served as Director of the Urban Mission Council in Des Moines, and as the full time lobbyist for the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and as Chair of the Human Needs Council.
Jean Basinger awards Carlos Jayne with a counted cross stitch scales of justice handcrafted by Christy Lockheart, an inmate at Iowa Correctional Institute for Women at Mitchellville, and an inscribed plaque.
He may be best remembered for his leadership in working to prevent the expansion of casino gambling in the state of Iowa. He did an excellent job of explaining why this was a justice issue and the damage it would do to the quality of life of the citizens of Iowa. At the height of his lobbing career, the infiltration of factory farms, the expansion of gambling and the addition of 3 new prisons in Iowa led him to coin the phrase, “Pigs, Poker, and Prisons”. It was his definition of Iowa’s vision for economic development.
Carlos never backs away from taking a stand on difficult issues. He also was a key player in the work to keep the death penalty from being reinstated in Iowa. He has worked for the prevention of gun violence, for establishing civil rights for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered persons, and for voting rights for ex-felons. He is highly respected by members of the Iowa Legislature and others working in government and in the private sector, even though he can be very confrontational when speaking and writing about issues for which he has a passion.
Reverend Dr. Robert C. Cook looks on as Carlos gives his acceptance speech, and Carlos introduces his lovely wife, Betsy (who surprised Carlos by skipping work for a few hours to show up and support him).
Carlos started the Friends of Mitchellville Prisoners (now, Friends of Iowa Women Prisoners). This organization has advocated for the women in Iowa prisons. With leadership from Carlos they have worked for opportunities for education, and gender-based treatment and mental healthcare services, and have educated citizens about many issues related to women in Iowa prisons.
When he retired as the Legislative Advocate for the UMC he came to Jean Basinger with a new vision; one in which he would bring together organizations that shared a common concern regarding the failure of the criminal justice system in Iowa to offer a meaningful response to crime which was based, not on building more prisons, mandatory minimum sentences, and other punitive practices that fail over and over, but on the concept of restorative justice which looks at what is needed in the lives of all persons touched by crime, including the offender. The goal of that vision is safer communities for everyone.
Carlos was talking about being “smart on crime, rather than tough on crime” long before anyone else.
JRC’s founding organizations were: Iowa Citizens United for the Rehabilitations of Errants,
Criminal Justice Ministries, Friends of Iowa Women Prisoners, and the Restorative Justice Advocacy, Inc., an organization started by the late Rep. BeJe Clark, a pioneer in the field of restorative justice.
IADP TO HONOR MARTY RYAN
Marty Ryan will be honored by Iowans Against the Death Penalty Saturday, November 10 with the Governor Harold E. Hughes Award at the organization’s 50th anniversary dinner at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Des Moines, beginning at 6 o’clock pm. Marty, along with his wife and business partner, Stephanie Fawkes-Lee, is the legislative advocate for Justice Reform Consortium. Please join us for this event.
Reception, dinner, award ceremony, keynote address and remarks by Rob Warden, award winning legal affairs journalist and executive director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, Bluhm Legal Clinic, Northwestern University School of Law, and Iowa native Rev. Tricia Teater of the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Tickets $30 in advance. To RSVP email email@example.com, call 515-229-4578 or send your check to IADP, P.O. Box 65416 • West Des Moines, Iowa • 50265 by November 9.
“As a lobbyist and activist Marty has worked vigilantly for more than two decades to prevent reinstatement of the death penalty in Iowa,” said IADP chair Dennis Barnum of Gowrie, Iowa.
Beginning with his work as the legislative director for the ACLU of Iowa for 18 years, Ryan helped to build the coalition organizations that comprise Iowans Against the Death Penalty. He kept track of lawmakers’ positions on the death penalty and monitored any legislative attempt to bring the death penalty back.
“Marty always kept his vote count close to the vest, knowing which legislators stood against reinstatement. His work at the State Capitol has been important in maintaining Iowa’s status as an abolitionist state,” said IADP board member Patti Brown.
Ryan has continued to keep a watchful eye on the issue at the Iowa Statehouse through his work with Fawkes-Lee & Ryan, a legislative and public policy advocacy firm founded in 2010 with his wife Stephanie Fawkes-Lee. The firm does contract lobbying legislative monitoring, legal research and writing, and publishes an on-line newsletter that focuses on legislative and public policy issues.
Ryan is a native of west-central Iowan. He was born in Carroll and raised in Vail, a town founded in 1867 by his great-grandfather. Following graduation from Kuemper Catholic High School in Carroll, Ryan was drafted and served at Fort Lee in Virginia during the Vietnam War.
In addition to his work with the ACLU, Ryan has worked as a heavy equipment operator, a land surveyor’s assistant, a retail and wholesale meat cutter, packinghouse worker/sausage maker, dislocated worker grant administrator, a legal assistant, and a labor negotiator and organizer for UFCW Locals 440 & 271. Ryan has two daughters, a stepdaughter, two stepsons, and three grandchildren.
Previous recipients of the Hughes award include former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, University of Iowa law professor David Baldus, Des Moines attorney James Benzoni, the late Sen. John Ely, Chuck Day and Marjorie Parris.
The Business End of the JRC Annual Meeting
After honoring the Rev. Carlos Jayne and dining on a delicious meal catered by the women of Trinity/Los Americas Church, the group listened to our featured speaker: Theresa Wilson, Iowa Assistant Appellate Defender. Ms. Wilson defined the role of the Appellate Defender, how cases are accepted, and other interesting things about the Iowa Appellate Defender that are relevant to our work. She also alluded to her work as a member of the Iowa Bar Association’s Criminal Law Division, and legislation of interest to JRC.
After listening to Theresa, JRC added one more item to its legislative agenda for 2013.
The following issues were discussed at the JRC Annual Meeting on Thursday, October 18. All eleven issues will likely be addressed during the upcoming 2013 Iowa Legislative Session, which begins on January 14, 2013.
Capital Punishment – It’s scary to think that we would have to discuss this, but it is a possibility. There are several factors that could come into play that would lead to the threat of reinstatement of the death penalty in Iowa. JRC position = OPPOSE any legislation reinstating capital punishment in Iowa.
Restraints on pregnant prisoners – Johnie Hammond, former legislator and now member of the Iowa Board of Corrections, had requested that the Board agree to allow her to have a proposal on restraints introduced as a Department bill. The Board approved this model legislation with a small amendment on Friday, September 14 at the Board’s meeting in Des Moines. JRC position = SUPPORT legislation requiring policy for the DOC and county jails that pertains to restraints on pregnant prisoners, as long as the legislation is favorable to the health, safety and welfare of the woman prisoner and the unborn child.
Sexual misconduct by a correctional officer or others – Sexual misconduct committed by employees and agents of the department of corrections and judicial district departments of correctional services is a serious offense. In the past, a bill to enhance the penalty for this misconduct was introduced in both chambers but never made it past the Senate Judiciary Committee. JRC has supported this effort in the past. “There is no such thing as consensual sex in a corrections facility.” We have heard it time and time again. Perhaps this year we may have the cooperation to get this bill enacted. JRC position = SUPPORT legislation that enhances the penalty from a misdemeanor to a felony. This legislation will be introduced by the Iowa DOC again this session.
Mental Health funding in Polk County – The Polk County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (Polk Co. CJCC) is proposing to seek funding from the State to move mental health probation and parole officers into one unit. It is also going to ask for monies for administrative staff, a physician, two registered nurses, two licensed mental health counselors and two social workers. Part of the proposal is to move the unit offsite in combination with the 23 Hour Crisis Center. This would be operated through the 5th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services budget and the CBC would administer the program with the assistance of other agencies. JRC position = SUPPORT the Polk Co. CJCC, as long as it does not interfere with funding for CBCs throughout the state that need funding to operate (see next item).
Funding of Anchor Center in Cedar Rapids, Women’s Center for Change in Waterloo & other empty facilities in Sioux City, Ottumwa and Davenport – Seeking funding is a difficult goal to achieve. That is what we said last year and the year before. We were right. We had very little trouble getting this funding from the Senate last year, but the House refused to fund a dime for the vacant centers. We are more optimistic this year. JRC position = SUPPORT full funding of these facilities. Iowa DOC is requesting funding again this year.
Mandatory minimums –In the past, the Iowa Public Safety Advisory Board (PSAB) has looked at proposing legislation that would eliminate mandatory minimums on certain drug offenses only. Nothing materialized. JRC position = SUPPORT legislation, if introduced, to remove ANY mandatory minimum sentence in the Iowa Code
From left to right: Jean Basinger, JRC Steering Committee Chair; Carlos Jayne, JRC Co-founder; Marty Ryan, Fawkes-Lee & Ryan – JRC Legislative Advocates; and Theresa Wilson, Assistant Appellate Defender and featured speaker at JRC Annual Meeting.
Certified translators – HSB175 and SSB 1073: These were companion bills introduced by the Iowa Judicial Branch during the past General Assembly relating to interpreters and translators for limited English proficient participants in legal proceedings and in court-ordered programs. JRC SUPPORTED this legislation. This probably is a bill that needs enactment to comply with federal mandates or standards. However, the cost of implementing this program can be costly. We have met with the Court Administrator to discuss any consideration of reintroducing this legislation in the upcoming session. JRC position = SUPPORT the courts in their effort to make our judicial system function fairly.
Validated risk assessments as part of sentencing: The Iowa DOC is attempting to implement legislation that will require judges to use scores of validated risk assessments in the process of sentencing felons. JRC OPPOSES these attempts to sentence people according to “a score”.
Crack/powder disparity – The Waterloo Drug Committee of Citizens for Undoing Racism has asked State Rep. Bob Kressig to introduce a bill to equalize the penalties between crack and powder cocaine. Rep. Kressig is the current ranking member of the House Public Safety Committee. JRC STRONGLY SUPPORTS legislation that brings the threshold of possession of crack cocaine UP to the current level of powder cocaine possession. All other proposals are watered-down efforts with huge political incantations.
No second opinions for inmates – An additional legislative proposal by the DOC is a change to Iowa Code Chapter 229 that “would not allow an inmate committed to the custody of the Iowa department of corrections from requesting a separate examination from a doctor of their choosing. Current practice is inmates are requesting a second opinion, from a doctor of their choosing, and the DOC is forced to pay because the inmate has no funds (sic). The DOC is not legally required to provide, and pay for, second opinions for non-psychiatric medical evaluations and should not be allowed for involuntary hospitalizations.” JRC position = OPPOSE this proposal on the grounds that mental health is not the same as physical health. A physical ailment can most often be seen, felt, and recognized by outward symptoms. A mental ailment is rooted deep inside a person and does not usually display outward or obvious symptoms.
Electronic recording of custodial interrogations – This is an issue that was not recommended by the JRC Steering Committee, but was added after the JRC organizational representatives heard Theresa Wilson speak about it. The need for this legislation is the result of two Iowa Supreme Court decisions: State v. Hajtic, 724 N.W.2d 449 (2006); and State v. Madsen, 813 N.W.2d 714 (2012). The Court in Hajtic stated: “We believe electronic recording, particularly videotaping, of custodial interrogations should be encouraged, and we take this opportunity to do so.” 724 N.W.2d 449, 456 (Iowa 2006) (emphasis added). In Madsen, the Court “reiterate [its] admonition in Hajtic encouraging videotaping of custodial interrogations.” Justice Waterman, writing for a unanimous Court (Justice Mansfield takes no part) continued to encourage the use of “electronic recording of noncustodial interviews when it is practical to do so. But, because noncustodial interrogations occur under a variety of circumstances, we decline at this time to adopt a per se rule requiring electronic recording.”
JRC’s financial resources come from membership organizations and readers like you. JRC exists to give a voice to organizations that cannot afford their own lobbyist at the Iowa Capitol. We want to keep going strong for 2013. Will you consider a generous contribution, even if your generosity can only stretch to $5, to help our voice grow louder during the next session?
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Links worth viewing:
Federal Judge Mark W. Bennett was appointed by President Bill Clinton to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa in 1994. Since then, he has sentenced more than 3,000 defendants in four federal district courts and reviewed sentences for the Courts of Appeals for the Eighth and Ninth Circuits. He writes, How Mandatory Minimums Forced Me to Send More Than 1,000 Nonviolent Drug Offenders to Federal Prison
Reader’s Watchdog: Secrecy persists over Iowa inmates
Jean Basinger’s question was as simple as it was provocative: Why is the state of Iowa hiding the locations of prisoners?
Read entire article at:
Shane Bauer was one of three Americans detained in 2009 while hiking in Iraq’s Kurdish region near the Iranian border. He and Josh Fattal were held for 26 months, and Sarah Shourd — now Bauer’s wife — was held for 13 months, much of it in solitary confinement. Seven months after being freed from prison in Iran, Bauer began investigating solitary confinement in the United States. Now, in his first major article since his release for Mother Jones magazine, Bauer finds California prisoners are being held for years in isolation based on allegations they are connected to prison gangs.
The next Friends of Iowa Women Prisoners meeting is at noon on Tues., November. 20th at Wesley United Methodist Church, 800 East 12th.
Speakers for November will be Angela Karaedos, who is the director of the new Women’s Resource Center located at the Des Moines Residential Facility, and Peggy Urtz, who is program manager of the facility.
Bring your lunch. The place and time are consistent throughout the year. The meetings are always held on the third Tuesday of the month, and always held from noon to 1:00 pm at Wesley United Methodist Church located at 800 East 12th Street in Des Moines. The location is a block west of East High School. Please contact Vi for more information.
Voices to be Heard is a support group for families and children of an incarcerated loved one. The group gathers to support and comfort those who know too well the grief that comes to those left behind when someone they love is incarcerated. The group meets on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at Union Park Methodist Church (East 12th & Guthrie in Des Moines) from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. The group brings in speakers, performs outreach, provide support groups and leadership classes. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 20th Contact Sue for more information.
Justice Reform Consortium member organizations: Iowa CURE & Iowa Coalition 4 Juvenile Justice; Friends of Iowa Women Prisoners; Trinity United Methodist Church; Methodist Federation for Social Action; Voices to be Heard; ACLU of Iowa; Social Action Committee, Des Moines Presbytery; Des Moines Chapter of WILPF; American Friends Service Committee; Plymouth Congregational Church, Board of Christian Social Action; Iowa Annual Conference, UMC; Iowa NOW and Des Moines NOW; National Association of Social Workers; Beacon of Life; Citizens for Undoing Racism-War on Drugs Task Force.
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