Des Moines, IA (STL.News) Gov. Kim Reynolds accepted the final report of the Governor’s FOCUS Committee on Criminal Justice Reform today during the 8th Annual Iowa Summit on Justice and Disparities. The committee, which Gov. Reynolds announced at last year’s summit, was charged with making recommendations for building an unbiased criminal justice system in Iowa. The committee’s recommendations include a statutory prohibition on disparate treatment in law enforcement activities, requiring data collection on race and ethnicity in law enforcement stops and analysis of that data.
“Taken together, these recommendations would represent another historic step forward in Iowa’s leadership in civil rights and criminal justice reform,” Gov. Reynolds said. “I look forward to reviewing the committee’s recommendations as I lay out my 2021 legislative agenda and move criminal justice reform forward. I would also like to thank Lt. Gov Adam Gregg and all of the Governor’s FOCUS committee members for their work this year.”
The Governor’s FOCUS Committee, chaired by Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, has representatives of communities of color as well as all corners of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, prosecutors and corrections officials.
“In Iowa, we tackle tough issues head-on,” said Lt. Gov. Gregg. “The Governor asked us to take on some of the most challenging issues with this commission. I’m grateful for the frank and productive discussions we had as well as the willingness of everyone to coalesce around some solid recommendations.”
The latest recommendations are the second phase of the FOCUS Committee’s work. Previously, they laid out a “second chances” plan to help formerly incarcerated Iowans build a pathway out of prison that would lead to stronger reintegration into civil society. Many of those actions are already being implemented.
The full report of the Governor’s FOCUS Committee on Criminal Justice Reform can be found by clicking here.