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Governor’s Committee on Criminal Justice Reform adopts recommendations


Today, the Governor’s FOCUS Committee on Criminal Justice Reform (Fueling Ongoing Collaboration and Uncovering Solutions) unanimously adopted recommendations for criminal justice reform efforts in Iowa. 

Among the recommendations of the report are guidelines for improving postsecondary education opportunities for inmates, expanding behavioral health treatment for people while they’re in prison, streamlining conviction review for occupational licensing for ex-offenders, and reviewing driver license revocation requirements to address transportation barriers faced by ex-offenders. 

The recommendations also call for an expansion of workforce reentry services in Iowa prisons, and establishing a “Second Chance Employer” designation in which organizations would be able to self-identify themselves in an online, searchable database that they are willing to hire ex-offenders. 

“Iowans recognize the power of redemption and second chances, and criminal justice reform continues to be a key priority for my administration,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement. “These recommendations help address our state’s workforce needs, protect our communities, and send a strong message to every Iowan that it’s never too late to turn your life around. I want to thank this diverse group of stakeholders and committee chair, Lt. Gov. Gregg, for helping us chart out transformational change to Iowa’s criminal justice system.” 

Reynolds has championed several initiatives over the past year that focus on providing second chances to former offenders. She officially launched the FOCUS Committee in November at the annual Iowa Summit on Justice & Disparities.

The committee’s recommendations will form the foundation of a package of legislative proposals aimed at advancing the governor’s “2nd Chance” initiative this next year. The full report and recommendations can be found by clicking here.

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