Juvenile Records Sealing Day

The Drake Legal Clinic and Middleton Center for Children’s Rights is sponsoring a “Juvenile Records Sealing Day” on Saturday, March 2nd from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Anyone who is 18 or older and has a juvenile record may be eligible to have the record sealed. The information regarding record sealing is free and meetings with staff are confidential.

The Drake Legal Clinic is located at 2400 University Avenue in Des Moines (the southwest corner of 24th & University).

Call Ronnie Hawkins at (515) 271-3857.

Please pass this information on.

Having a criminal record is a big deal. Getting a juvenile record sealed is a big deal.

The longer someone waits to get a record sealed the more potential harm there is.

 

 

February 10, 2013 Newsletter Published

Vol. 4 #3 February 10, 2013

Hidden Policies and Agendas

At a September meeting of the Board of Corrections, the Board unanimously voted to support a legislative measure that would prohibit the use of restraints on pregnant inmates under certain conditions. Prior to that meeting, the Department of Corrections (DOC) director, John Baldwin, made a promise to Board member Johnie Hammond. He told Hammond that if she could convince the other Board members to approve this legislative proposal that he would not only have the Department introduce it, it would support it.

Not true.

The Department bill never developed. On its way from the DOC Central Office to the Legislative Services Agency, Legal Services Division (where bills are drafted), it was restrained. Evidently, the governor’s ear was pulled and he decided it would not be an agency bill. That’s okay; he gets to do that. After all, the board only serves as advisory in suggesting legislation. The actual law states that the “board of corrections shall . . . Make recommendations from time to time to the governor and the general assembly.”

Representative Linda Miller (R-Bettendorf), a retired registered nurse and the Chair of the House Human Resources Committee, stepped in and brought a bill forth that would accomplish the same intent that Johnie Hammond had sought. That bill, House Study Bill 95, was considered in a subcommittee of Reps. Miller, Julian Garrett (R-Indianola), and Beth Wessel-Kroeschell (D-Ames). [Note: A similar bill, Senate File 134, has been introduced in the Iowa Senate by Senator Pam Jochum (D-Dubuque), the Senate President.]

On the day of the subcommittee meeting, no lobbyist was registered against the legislation. Many, many groups were registered in support of HSB 95. Some of those groups represented by lobbyists include: Justice Reform Consortium; The ACLU of Iowa; the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church; the Iowa Catholic Conference; National Association of Social Workers, Iowa Chapter; Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Iowa Medical Society; Family Planning Council of Iowa; Child and Family Policy Center; Iowa Association for Justice; HCI Care Services; League of Women Voters of Iowa; Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Action Fund; and Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. Not one entity was registered against the bill (there is now, but was not on the day of the subcommittee). The DOC and a handful of other groups were registered as “undecided” on the bill. However, the DOC liaisons sat at the table and actively lobbied “against” passage of the bill.
Part of the DOC’s argument was that it has changed the policy and it now mirrors the language of the bill. But upon receiving a copy of the policy it was clear that nothing was clear. Heavy redaction gave no indication of what the policy proscribed or prescribed. The Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association had concerns about safety. But Rita Bettis, lobbyist for the ACLU of Iowa was quick to assist in amending the bill to address its concerns. An amendment has been drafted and should be incorporated into the bill as it moves through the committee process.

Please contact Reps. Linda Miller, Julian Garrett, and Wessel-Kroeschell with a message that begins with “Thank You” in the subject line. Please contact other members of the House Human Resources Committee, especially if your representative is on the committee, and ask them to support the passage of HSB 95.

More BOC

In other Board of Corrections news, a handout at the Feb. 8 meeting included a modified copy of policies. Not long ago, the Des Moines Register featured a copyrighted story on the fact that the Department of Corrections (DOC) had 86 confidential policies. The revised list of policies (not the policies themselves) has been pared down to only 55 confidential ones. The Board asked about reviewing the policies. It was pointed out by Director Baldwin that it has been done in the past, but that it became boring and tedious.

Board member Nancy Turner of Corning was quick to counterpoint that it is one of the Board’s duties to review policy. Iowa Code Section 904.105 defines the duties of the Board of Corrections, and subsection 2 explicitly states that the “board of corrections shall . . . adopt and establish policies for the operation and conduct of the department and the implementation of all department programs.” (Emphasis added.) Perhaps, if the Board had known this last fall when Board member Hammond had requested approval of legislation, the Board instead could have revised policy. But who knew there was policy?

The JRC Legislative Agenda for 2013 – Where are we?

HSB 9: An Act relating to the authority of cities to regulate and restrict the occupancy of residential rental property. For This bill passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on February 7 and will be renumbered before being debated on the House floor. Currently, several cities in Iowa have ordinances that restrict how many unrelated people can live in a one-family dwelling. This bill would prohibit such ordinances. JRC supports this legislation because many people released from prison need a safe place to live. Ordinances that prohibit habitation based upon kinship are outdated and discriminatory. After all, why should the [local] government know “who” lives in your home? Isn’t that sort of scary?

HSB 32: An Act relating to the penalties for the criminal offense of sexual exploitation of a minor by the purchase or possession of child pornography. Against This is a bill that enhances a penalty that was enacted last year. One year is not enough time to analyze the effectiveness of a crime. During the subcommittee meeting on this bill, it was argued that this bill will cut down on the practice of human trafficking. According to the Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning (Dept. of Human Rights), “since the adoption of Chapter 710A, “Human Trafficking” in 2006 there have been three charges disposed and one conviction (through FY12).”

House File 167: An Act establishing a child endangerment offense for the mother of a newborn child who caused an illegal drug to be present in the newborn child’s body, and providing a penalty. Against This bill moved out of a subcommittee on January 30, the day of an Iowa Blizzard “unnamed”. This sort of legislation is more likely to result in a drug-induced mother putting the baby in an industrial dumpster than seeking prenatal care.

HSB 55 & SSB 1029: An Act relating to the excise tax on unlawful dealing in certain substances by adding new taxable substances and tax rates, modifying the taxation and rates of currently taxable substances, and making penalties applicable. Against We participated in a subcommittee meeting and warned that enactment of this bill could lead to jeopardizing the entire chapter on the drug tax stamp. Testimony on this bill is available upon request.

SSB1027 & SSB 1028: Acts requiring a person receiving a deferred judgment for or convicted of an aggravated misdemeanor to submit a DNA sample and including effective date provisions. Against A subcommittee has been held on this bill, but it has not been considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Please contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and urge them to OPPOSE this legislation that expands the unnecessary use of DNA harvesting from people who are not violent (joy riding, 2nd offense OWI, and much more).

We could use some calls to Governor Branstad’s office asking him for support of mental health funding and services – 515-281-5211

 

Contributions to JRC are appreciated and needed.

 

Please help us with your generous contribution today.

 

I want to help Justice Reform Consortium with its goal of working toward restorative justice.

 

Here is my contribution of $________________________________

 

Submit your subscription payment to:

 

Jean Basinger

Justice Reform Consortium

c/o Trinity United Methodist Church

P.O. Box 41005

Des Moines, IA 50311

 

 

Name: ___________________________________________________________

 

 

Address: ________________________________________________________

 

City: ____________________________State__________Zip_______________

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

The next Friends of Iowa Women Prisoners meeting is at noon on Tues., February 19th at Wesley United Methodist Church, 800 East 12th.

 

In February, Jason Carlstrom, chair of the Iowa Parole Board will be our presenter. Mr. Carlstrom graduated from Simpson College in 1995, worked as a professional pilot until 2001 when he attended Drake Law School. He worked in private practice until September 2010 when he started working in the Dickinson County Attorney’s office. In November of that year he was elected to the position in November 2010 and took office in January 2011. He was appointed chair of the Iowa Board of Parole by Governor Branstad in July of 2012 and started his term in September of last year. He looks forward to addressing us and encourages those present to ask questions and participate in the discussion.

 

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. It is a good idea to contact Melissa ahead of time because the group provides dinner and a head count is preferred. Contact Melissa at 515/229-2645 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.

This newsletter published by:
Fawkes-Lee & Ryan, Public Policy Advocates http://iowappa.com/

Copyright © 2013. You may copy, download and print the information in this newsletter provided you do so in an unaltered manner, with full copyright acknowledgement and website link. This newsletter may also be found online in PDF format at: http://justicereformconsortium.org/?page_id=19 and at: http://iowappa.com/?page_id=407

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Newsletter From Late January Available

Vol. 4 #2 January 25, 2013

The Governor’s Budget

Governor Branstad has included in this year’s budget an increase in funding for community-based corrections (CBCs). The increase doesn’t fully fund the CBCs, but it does make some significant progress in opening the vacant facilities that have been shuttered for quite some time. However, as expected, there are concerns.

 

The 1st Judicial District in Waterloo was seeking $1,140,322 for operational costs and an additional 20 new Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions, and the governor’s budget has recommended an increase in the 1st Judicial District Community-Based Corrections (CBC) by $687,409. Also, the governor recommends an increase of 14.5 FTEs.

 

What does that mean in simple talk? It means this: The Women’s Center for Change is a building (see photo below) in Waterloo that was built two years ago. It has the capacity to house 45 women in a residential setting, but that portion of the building (north end) has been sitting empty since construction was completed in April, 2011. Most people refer to a building such as this as a halfway house. Kraemer Brothers.com

 

Without funding, the facility is half empty. That’s not what halfway house is supposed to mean. The south side of the building contains offices and a conference room. That part of the building is occupied, but only during business hours when parole and probation officers are utilizing the much needed office space to see clients and perform other duties. The north side of the building sits empty, except for the unused equipment and furnishings that are new, but have warranties that have long expired.

 

The governor’s budget recommendation probably will allow the north side of the building to open its doors to women in the 1st Judicial District who are lined up on waiting lists to move in. Currently, some of those women are housed in another facility in Waterloo that also houses men. Some of the women on the waiting list are in prison and awaiting a bed to make the transition from the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women at Mitchellville back into society. A few women are waiting to serve a brief sentence under Iowa’s Operating While Intoxicated laws.

 

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 and 2015 budget recommendations are designed to provide for some of the needs of the Iowa Department of Correctional Services, 1st Judicial District. If the Legislature agrees, the doors to the Waterloo Women’s Center for Change might be able to open later this year with an additional 14 ½ employees (FTEs) and funding to provide for a portion of the operational costs. That’s where we have a huge concern. Is it possible to partially fund a project that cannot operate without all the pieces in place? If you halfway fund a halfway house does it become a quarter-house? Okay, bad joke aside, if you haven’t visited the facility it’s difficult to understand why someone would want to partially open the unused portion. It would not take that much more to utilize fully the entire residential portion.

 

Likewise, the governor’s budget recommendation allows an increase in $647,015 and 12 FTEs for the 3rd Judicial District CBC. The 3rd Judicial District is located in Northwest Iowa (Woodbury and surrounding counties). The funding will help open up the Linn A. Hall Center, the newly built residential facility in Sioux City. The 3rd CBC District was seeking $867,410 and 14 new FTEs.

 

The proposed budget also includes additional funding for the 7th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services. The 7th Judicial District was looking for funding of $714,147 and will receive $467,880 if the governor’s budget is enacted unchanged. Additionally, the 7th Judicial District requested 13 FTEs and the proposal calls for 9.5 new FTEs. The 7th Judicial District has a work release center that is not operating at full capacity at this time. The funding and increase in FTEs will allow the Davenport area CBC to house more transitional offenders.

 

And finally, the 8th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services, located in southeaster Iowa, will receive an increase in funding for the expansion of the Ottumwa Residential Correctional Facility. The CBC had requested $687,678 and 9.35 new FTEs. Under Governor Branstad’s proposal it would receive $350,382 and 6.4 new FTEs.

 

The projections above are proposals made by the governor at the request of the Department of Corrections (DOC). Iowa’s General Assembly can increase the funding, decrease the amounts, or eliminate any proposals in its entirety or partially. It is up to you to contact your legislators and ask them to, at a “minimum”, go along with the governor’s recommendations, but to reach further into the pockets of the state’s pants and pull out some of that surplus revenue to spend on our state’s community-based correctional facilities.

 

A 195-page document produced by the Fiscal Services Division of the Iowa Legislative Services Agency is available at https://www.legis.iowa.gov/DOCS/LSA/SC_Fisc/2013/SFBAL000.PDF

 

 

 

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

CORRECTION: In the most recent edition of the Justice Reform Consortium Newsletter (January 6), we informed readers about a workshop on learning how to design your own criminal justice advocacy plan that suits your style and your needs. There were a couple of incorrect pieces of information in that notice. Please use the corrected version below:

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

IOWA CURE LEGISLATIVE WORKSHOP

WHEN: THIS SUNDAY! JANUARY 27, 2 TO 4 P.M.

WHERE: GRACE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH,

38TH & COTTAGE GROVE AVENUE, DES MOINES, IA

WHAT: Learn how to design a criminal justice advocacy plan that fits your lifestyle and personality

WHO: This workshop is sponsored by Iowa CURE (Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants), but is open to anyone who feels there is a need for change in the Iowa criminal justice system.

COST: Free (There will be a free-will offering basket for contributions to cover workshop expenses)

LEADERS: Marty Ryan and Stephanie Fawkes-Lee, Legislative Advocates for the Justice Reform Consortium will be our leaders. They have many years of experience in working with our legislators.

The workshop will last approximately 1-½ hours followed by coffee and refreshments. Area legislators have been invited to attend the latter part of the program.

PLEASE REGISTER!

You will receive valuable information, which includes a legislative agenda for 2013, as well as basic lobbying information about how the legislature works.

Please contact Marty Ryan at mrtyryn@gmail.com to let him know that you are coming so that he may prepare an appropriate amount of written materials.

If you are a member of the Iowa CURE community inside the walls of an Iowa prison, PLEASE share this information with your family and friends. Together we can make a difference. We need to come together and plan how we can work for a prison system based on restorative justice (making things as right as possible for everyone touched by crime).

Planning Committee Members:

Carolyn Walker Uhlenhake,

Mary Kay Dial,

Sr. JoAnne Talarico

 

The JRC Legislative Agenda for 2013 – Where are we?

 

 

Capital Punishment – We hope that this is the last time we’ll have to mention this issue for this year. Other than a senator or two, there is no interest to debate this matter. We are confident the votes necessary to pass this bill in either chamber do not exist.

 

Restraints of pregnant prisoners – The Department of Corrections (DOC) has made some changes in its confidential policy. But since it’s confidential, we can’t be sure. The Des Moines Register has a feature article by Jason Clayworth on this issue. We are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to work with other organizations and legislators to ensure the safety and comfort of the unborn baby and mother through sensible legislation that will provide consistency throughout the state.

 

Certified translatorsSenate Study Bill 1034 and House Study Bill 6 relate to interpreters and translators for limited English proficient participants in legal proceedings and in court-order programs. We will follow up on any activity associated with these bills as it occurs.

 

 

Contributions to JRC are appreciated and needed.

 

Please help us with your generous contribution today.

 

I want to help Justice Reform Consortium with its goal of working toward restorative justice.

 

Here is my contribution of $________________________________

 

Submit your subscription payment to:

 

Jean Basinger

Justice Reform Consortium

c/o Trinity United Methodist Church

P.O. Box 41005

Des Moines, IA 50311

 

 

Name: ___________________________________________________________

 

 

Address: ________________________________________________________

 

City: ____________________________State__________Zip_______________

 

 

Interesting links worth viewing:

 

For Drug Users, a Swift Response Is the Best Medicine

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/08/for-drug-users-hope-in-a-swift-response/?emc=eta1

On the Chopping Block 2012:

State Prison Closings http://sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/On%20the%20Chopping%20Block%202012.pdf

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

AMOS held its second Court Watch training this week at Bethel AME Church in Des Moines. Thirty people completed the training and AMOS now has sixty trained Court Watchers. Because of word of mouth and Thursday’s (January 24) Des Moines Register Opinion AMOS has several additional people interested in becoming Court Watchers. A date for a third training has not been set but it will be sometime in March. If you have not attended a training session and would like to, please let us know. And if you know anyone else who you think would be interested feel free to pass this information along.
AMOS Justice

organizingforjustice@gmail.com

 

AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy), is a local IAF (Industrial Areas Foundation) broad-based, non-partisan, community organization comprised of 28 community institutions. We believe that ordinary people, working together, can accomplish great things in a democracy and have a say in the destiny of their own community.

 

*********************************************************

 

The next Friends of Iowa Women Prisoners meeting is at noon on Tues., February 19th at Wesley United Methodist Church, 800 East 12th.

 

In February, Jason Carlstrom, chair of the Iowa Parole Board will be our presenter. Mr. Carlstrom graduated from Simpson College in 1995, worked as a professional pilot until 2001 when he attended Drake Law School. He worked in private practice until September 2010 when he started working in the Dickinson County Attorney’s office. In November of that year he was elected to the position in November 2010 and took office in January 2011. He was appointed chair of the Iowa Board of Parole by Governor Branstad in July of 2012 and started his term in September of last year. He looks forward to addressing us and encourages those present to ask questions and participate in the discussion.

 

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. It is a good idea to contact Melissa ahead of time because the group provides dinner and a head count is preferred. Contact Melissa at 515/229-2645 for more information.

 

The 2013 Winter Edition of the Iowa CURE Newsletter and the legislative agenda of the Justice Reform Consortium are now posted on our website. http://www.iowacure.org/

 

The Iowa Chapter of CURE will have a legislative workshop on Jan. 27 from 2 to 4 at Grace United Methodist Church, 38th and Cottage Grove in Des Moines. Marty Ryan and Stephanie Fawkes-Lee will provide the leadership for this event. There will be state legislators present with whom participants can visit informally. If you are planning to come please RSVP to Marty at mrtyryn@gmail.com so he can prepare a packet of materials for you.

 

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.

This newsletter published by:
Fawkes-Lee & Ryan, Public Policy Advocates http://iowappa.com/

Copyright © 2013. You may copy, download and print the information in this newsletter provided you do so in an unaltered manner, with full copyright acknowledgement and website link. This newsletter may also be found online in PDF format at: http://justicereformconsortium.org/?page_id=19 and at: http://iowappa.com/?page_id=407

Distributing this newsletter, or any part thereof, for commercial use is prohibited.

UNSUBSCRIBE INSTRUCTIONS: Simply reply to this message with the word “Unsubscribe” in the subject box.