The District Departments were created to be locally run programs with state level oversight and assistance. That has proven to be both a strong and weak point of community corrections in Iowa. District Departments at first flourished with the flexibility we had to implement and take action without the bureaucratic controls of state government but as time has passed we have become more subject to and in need of those controls and methods. The implementation of a state-wide labor contract has had significant impact on community corrections in both a positive and negative manor. Change and evolution in government seems both appropriate and inevitable and I truly believe improvements have been and will continue to be made in the services provided by community corrections.
The mission of community corrections has continued to be protection of the public regardless of how it may have been stated and I believe that has happened although not as fully as most of us would like. I regret to say that much still needs to be done to establish a legal and operational framework for significant reduction of crime. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system is only a response to criminal behavior and despite some very good success to reduce recidivism the overall problem is new criminal behavior by new offenders. The prevention of that criminal behavior will have to be done by other social systems including schools, churches, and most importantly parents.