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Iowa Department of Corrections reports 2.7 percent drop in recidivism this year

16 Nov 2023, Jail News, Recidivism, by

The Iowa Department of Corrections sees a 2.7 percent decline in recidivism; the trend is expected to increase in the coming years.

Iowa Department of Corrections reports 2.7 percent drop in recidivism this year - Inmate Lookup

Recidivism has decreased by 2.7 percent this year, with fewer individuals returning to prison after release, according to the Iowa Department of Corrections.

Commending the positive development, Mike Cervantes, associated with Living Beyond the Bars, a statewide nonprofit assisting individuals post-prison, mentioned that the drop in recidivism is always good news. He explained that this decline signifies a reduction in crimes within communities and suggests that those leaving prison are steering clear of behaviors that initially led to their incarceration, opting for positive paths.

Cervantes noted that the Iowa Department of Corrections has become more receptive to collaborating with organizations like Living Beyond the Bars in recent years. He emphasized the increasing collaborative efforts between community corrections, prisons, and various organizations statewide.

While acknowledging the positive trend of decreasing recidivism, Cervantes urged the state to take more action, especially in addressing addiction treatment and housing challenges. He proposed a proactive solution, suggesting that imprisoned individuals should be allowed to apply for housing assistance and other programs before their release. Cervantes emphasized the existing problem, noting that individuals frequently face homelessness or severe struggles before they can access these crucial support services.

The former inmates in the Cedar Valley are also getting support from Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo by assisting them in obtaining commercial driver’s licenses and welding and forklift operation certifications.

Hawkeye Community College coordinator Belle Fleischhacker notes that many inmates doubt their ability to secure good jobs due to their criminal history. She encourages them to reconsider, expressing that they might indeed find opportunities. Fleischhacker guides them through the process, helping them realize the potential for success after completing the programs.

The programs at Hawkeye are provided at no cost to the participants, a fact that some find hard to believe. Fleischhacker reassures them, explaining that the college covers the expenses for those involved with corrections.

Governor Kim Reynolds anticipates a continuous decline in recidivism due to her realignment bill. This legislation places Community Corrections, responsible for overseeing probation and parole, under the direction of the Department of Corrections.