Error could kill charges in juvenile home case

A clerical error could result in the dismissal of charges against a former state worker accused of assaulting a 15-year-old girl. A year ago, Tama County prosecutors charged former Iowa Juvenile Home youth services worker Robert McFatridge with assault in connection with an altercation at the home on Nov. 4, 2012. The date was mistakenly listed as Feb. 4, 2013 in initial court filings

Source: The Des Moines Register

Posted on: June 20, 2014

Wrongful imprisonment compensation rare in Iowa

Prosecutors say the low number of awards shows few people are wrongfully convicted in Iowa. However, defense lawyers and a director from the national Innocence Project say Iowa’s $50-a-day compensation is paltry compared to the damage caused by wrongful conviction.

Source: The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette

Posted on: June 3, 2014

Some fault retired correctional services director for agency’s troubles

Gary Hinzman's legacy at the Iowa Department of Corrections is a mixed one. Supporters describe the former correctional services director for Iowa’s 6th Judicial District as innovative, visionary and tenacious, others say Hinzman’s ego, secrecy and poor management hindered his 24-year tenure and led to a State Auditor’s review of the agency that oversees parole and probations for six counties, including Linn and Johnson.

Source: The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette

Posted on: May 1, 2014

Electronic monitoring useful for Eastern Iowa courts, but “not a magic bullet”

Offenders on electronic monitoring is increasingly common, with their number growing from 146 in fiscal year 2004 to 820 in fiscal year 2012, as shown by the Iowa Department of Corrections. But there are drawbacks to the system, including factors that can lead to false positives that incorrectly indicate an offender might be violating conditions of release.

Source: The Gazette

Posted on: March 24, 2014

Does state still offer placement of last resort?

Over the past 19 years, Iowa has seen a 73 percent reduction in the number of available beds for adult psychiatric patients, resulting in more mentally ill Iowans being sent to jail. The Iowa Department of Corrections estimates 41 percent of inmates have mental illnesses.

Source: The Des Moines Register

Posted on: July 1, 2013