Courts make our state safer, enhance quality of life
In his annual State of the Judiciary address, Chief Justice Mark Cady laid out the importance of investing in our courts and why it matters for families, public safety and all Iowa taxpayers.
Our courts have done a lot of good on a tight budget over the years, but the Branstad-Reynolds proposal to cut them even more will deprive many Iowans of justice, and could stop the progress and innovation Iowa’s world-class courts are known for.
In recent years, the Judicial Branch has improved juvenile court services. By increasing the number of well-trained juvenile court officers, they are able to have more face-to-face interactions with young offenders, resulting in fewer future offenses. In fact, the number of juvenile offenders entering Iowa’s prison system has been cut in half.
In addition, diversion programs for low-risk youth help to keep them out of the court system. These programs are so successful that more communities and schools want to implement them.
Iowa’s specialty courts—including drug, mental health, domestic abuse and veterans’ courts—have done a great job of tackling the problems lead to crime. These courts focus on helping offenders change their behavior so that they don’t commit new crimes.
The success of our courts is good for all Iowans. Courts improve our quality of life by making us safer, keeping families together, helping offenders become productive members of their communities, saving taxpayer dollars, and setting young people on a positive track to adulthood.
– Sen. Rich Taylor represents Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties.