Section 905.2 of the Code of Iowa authorizes the Seventh Judicial District Department of Correctional Services to furnish or contract for services to assist individuals who have been ordered by the courts, or the Parole Board or the authority of the Interstate Compact Services to participate in correctional programs designed to modify their behavior. The goals of the Department are:
- To support public safety
- To provide alternatives to the incarceration of offenders
- To protect and ensure the rights of persons who are charged with or convicted of a public offense
- To provide programs and services that assist individuals to become productive and law-abiding citizens
- To provide cost-effective programs and services
- To avoid costly duplication of services by utilizing community resource agencies
- To provide accurate and useful information to the courts to assist in prudent decision-making
Protect the Public, the Employees, and the Offenders
The “Public” is listed first since they are actually our employers and represent the reason for our employment. The “Offenders” are listed last since they represent the final product of our work and “Protect” not only includes from harm but also includes protect a good future for the offender. In between are listed “Employees” since they are the vehicle and method for accomplishing the other two components of the mission and are the most important component.
Every offender makes it and our communities are safe. We invest in partnerships so that all members of the community have hope of succeeding. Individual growth is encouraged and expected, and achievement is recognized. Shared decision-making and team participation demonstrate our mutual respect. We measure our results and do what we know “works”. Innovation is valued; Diversity is our strength; Offenders are held accountable.
An underlying philosophy of our Department that is tied to our goals, mission, and visions is that for each offender we seek the least punitive sentence and sanctions to be used consistent with the need to promote public safety while modifying the offender’s behavior. The Criminal Justice System has as its responsibility the need to provide for public safety and to assist other social systems with maintenance of an orderly society where individuals may strive to achieve their own objectives so long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others. Community-based corrections has a special role to prevent further involvement with law enforcement and the courts.