Iowa Prison PopulationTops 9,000 For First Time; Recidivism Down


Iowa's prison population, for the first time ever, topped 9,000 inmates over the weekend, reports Radio Iowa. There were 8,200 inmates just one year ago. Iowa Department of Corrections Director John Baldwin expects the numbers to drop again soon. Baldwin said the increase was due partly to the fact that the state parole board had three of it's five members leave in a very short span. “It takes three votes to release anybody from prison, so when you only have two (members) left, it's very difficult to keep the releases coming,” he said

Iowa's nine prisons are 25 percent over capacity. A key Democratic lawmaker warned yesterday that Iowa's prisons could run out of money at the end of May if lawmakers fail to reach agreement on a supplemental appropriation requested by Governor Branstad. Baldwin said, “We have dropped down to a 32 percent recidivism rate. It wasn't that long ago, 10 or 12 years, we were hovering around 38 or 39 percent. So clearly what we have done has had an impact on the people who used to come back.”

Comments are closed.