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Programs Offered in the Fourth Judicial District
Pre-trial Release provides an alternative to the traditional bail bond system. Arrestees are assessed for their public safety and flight risk pending disposition of their criminal case. Recommendations are made to the court regarding appropriateness for release from jail that may include release on own recognizance (ROR), release with supervision (RWS), release with bail (RWB), etc., or no release. If release is ordered with supervision, the defendant’s whereabouts and activities are monitored to ensure that all court appearances and obligations are met. Identified criminogenic needs are addressed for early intervention.
This service is a primary tool to assist judges in determining appropriate sentence alternatives that most effectively serve the offender and wisely utilize correctional resources. The report submitted to the district court includes an extensive history of the
defendant’s criminal, social, family, education, employment and psychological background. Sentencing alternatives are presented to the court based on the investigation. This District also provides criminal history record checks to the courts
for the Judge’s consideration in sentencing.
Probation is the supervised release of adjudicated adult individuals in the community as a result of a suspended sentence, a deferred sentence or a deferred judgment. Probation provides a major alternative to institutionalization whereby convicted misdemeanants and felons remain in the community under supervision. Probation supervision includes risk and needs assessments, case planning and referral to community agencies. Offender behavior is monitored through urinalysis testing, breath analysis, electronic monitoring/GPS, surveillance and collateral contacts. Officers maintain regular contact with the offender, their significant others, family, employer, etc.
Parole is the supervised conditional release of offenders released from the state’s correctional institutions by the Board of Parole. Parole can also be granted directly
from a Residential Correctional Facility after the offender has served residential facility time on work release. This program is very similar to probation and in many instances the probation and parole officers are one and the same.
Residential Correctional Facility Services
Residential services provide supervision of offenders demonstrating an inability or unwillingness to function under less restrictive program supervision. Work Release
services provide offenders a transitional period to become adjusted to working and living in the community.
There are two residential facilities in the Fourth Judicial District. The residential facilities provide highly structured live-in supervision of problematic, high risk and/or high needs offenders. A myriad of treatment, education and related services are provided by the facilities. The offenders are referrals from court, parolees or work release from one of the many state penal institutions.
The Residential Correctional Facility (RCF), located at 900 9th Avenue, houses male and female offenders. The Residential Treatment Center (RTC), 1102 9th Avenue, houses male offenders convicted of sexual offenses for evaluation, assessment and placement/housing and male offenders convicted of 321J OWI offenses.
Interstate Compact is the transfer of an offender’s supervision between states. Offenders supervised are usually on probation or parole and are handled similar to Iowa offenders under supervision. In addition, courtesy pre-sentence investigations are performed for and by other states upon request.
Iowa Domestic Abuse Program (IDAP)
This program provides a group education process for men and individual programming
for women who practice a pattern of abusive behavior. As required by Iowa law, the District provides domestic abuse groups for persons convicted of domestic abuse, persons referred from other agencies and volunteers. After an extensive orientation session, clients are placed in groups which meet weekly for twenty-four (24) weeks for men and sixteen (16) weeks for women.
Drug Court is a special court with the responsibility of handling cases involving drug-using offenders with the capability of comprehensive supervision, drug testing, treatment services and immediate sanctions and incentives. It is a diversion program designed to divert non-violent substance abusing offenders from the criminal justice system into treatment and rehabilitative programming.
The Fourth Judicial District’s Drug Courthas been operating since January 3, 2000. Drug Court convenes every Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. following a team conference reviewing each participant’s progress. The Drug Court program is a minimum of eighteen (18) months and has four phases, including an intensive treatment continuum with weekly interaction with each participant.
The Drug Court program is a post adjudication model. Following a plea by the offender, the offender is “sentenced” to Drug Court to fully comply with the program. Failure to do so may result in serving the initial sentence. Successful completion of the program will result in a dismissal of the criminal offense. The participants may elect to withdraw their plea within the first four (4) weeks, or prior to the completion of inpatient treatment, whichever is longer, and the team may return the participant to the criminal docket to stand trial during that period. Upon transfer of the offender to Drug Court, further proceedings in criminal court are stayed pending final disposition of each case.
Non-violent drug offenders and drug related offenders are eligible for Drug Court. This includes offenders manufacturing for themselves to support their addiction and probation violators. A history of violence, including domestic abuse, possession or use of weapons may be excluding factors for admission into the program. Individuals with a history of severe mental problems may also be excluded. Drug dealers and large-scale manufacturers are excluded as well.
All applicants must be screened prior to being accepted.
Drug and alcohol free offenders are an important aspect of the Districts' programs. The District conducts urinalysis testing on a regular basis. The District arranges for laboratory backup testing on cases where serious violations are found. The District also has on-site alcohol testing equipment available and conducts frequent tests on suspected alcohol abusers.
Electronic Monitoring and GPS
Electronic Monitoring is an adjunct to other community based correctional supervision and treatment. The goal of this program is to monitor compliance with offender movements in the community to enhance public safety. The District is utilizing the latest
innovations in electronic surveillance to more effectively monitor high risk offenders. The District currently uses active monitoring units, mostly utilized by the High Risk Unit officers.
Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) is the most innovative electronic surveillance technology used by criminal justice agencies. The system combines GPS technology and advanced wireless communication protocols, flexible reporting and unique mapping capabilities to effectively track offenders twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week. The Central Command Center (CCC), located in Des Moines, Iowa, is the main information
The District’s GPS equipment is used to monitor offenders’ whereabouts at all times. The CCC is immediately alerted when an offender is in violation of the GPS rules or is experiencing equipment issues that require immediate attention. If immediate action is needed, the CCC will contact designated District staff to respond accordingly.
Utilization of GPS by District staff can enhance public safety while maintaining offender accountability.
High Risk Unit
The High Risk Unit is a special public safety unit established within the Department. The High Risk Unit is staffed with Intensive Supervision Officers, Sex Offender Officers, Surveillance Officers and Fugitive Investigators. The District Director is designated as Chief of this public safety unit. The High Risk Unit includes sworn officers who have been trained and certified by the Iowa LawEnforcement Academyor qualify under IAC 40.4 (12). The High Risk Unit has recently been involved with fugitive captures, assisting other agencies on special enforcement projects, task force operations and seizures of firearms and narcotics. Members of the High Risk Unit also educate the community on the role of the unit at various speaking engagements each year.
Fugitive Investigation Unit
The District developed a Fugitive Investigation Unit in June, 1997, as a response to work overloads in most law enforcement agencies because their personnel did not have time to dedicate to the pursuit of correctional offenders for whom active arrest warrants existed.
Selected staff members from the Intensive Supervision Unit comprise the Fugitive Investigation Unit. The Fugitive Investigation Unit is responsible for investigating the whereabouts and locating all probation, parole, work release and sex offender absconders who have valid warrants. The Fugitive Investigation Unit works in cooperation with all local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and has served over 1,600 felony warrants since its inception.
Intensive Supervision Program
The Intensive Supervision Program (ISP) is a specialized program of greatly enhanced supervision of high risk offenders on probation or parole. Specialized Probation/Parole Officers are assigned a small caseload of high risk offenders to supervise. Instead of having face-to-face contact with the offender monthly under normal supervision, ISP officers have numerous contacts with the offender on a weekly basis. Drug testing, curfew surveillance and offender accountability are emphasized with most officer activity occurring in the evening. Officers are equipped with a vehicle, radio equipment and electronic monitoring equipment.
High risk offenders include those convicted of violent crimes or having a history of violent crimes. Sex offenders are also considered to be high risk and are supervised by ISP officers.
ISP may also be used as an intermediate sanction for non-compliant offenders on regular supervision caseloads. ISP caseloads are held to a maximum of twenty-five (25) offenders so the officer can spend more time with the offender. ISP officers visit these offenders on the weekends and evenings, as well as during the day. The time spent with the offender can be in helping the offender change, or if the offender is unwilling to change, to monitor the offender for compliance.
Operating While Intoxicated Program
An intense substance abuse treatment program is provided to all offenders serving a sentence for O.W.I. 2nd or subsequent offenses. These offenders are diverted to this specialized program which is contracted through Heartland Family Service.
Offenders are required to complete the thirty (30) week program, attend weekly twelve (12) step meetings, obtain a sponsor and maintain full time employment. The District provides bed space at the RTC. Failure to comply at the community level may result in prison incarceration.
Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM)
The District is using the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM) on offenders which provides 24/7 alcohol detection with house arrest technology. The SCRAM program
assists with offender accountability, public safety and rehabilitation of the offender. The program is designed to aid offenders currently engaged in substance abuse treatment who require additional monitoring and accountability.
Sex Offender Treatment Program
The Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP) is designed to provide treatment to offenders who commit sex crimes. The program involves assessment, evaluation and specialized treatment groups. In addition to the treatment program these offenders are monitored on a specialized caseload. The goal of the SOTP is to reduce the risk of further sexual victimization through participation in the treatment program and intensive supervision.
The treatment program uses a cognitive behavioral model. Topics covered include victim empathy, cognitive distortions, relapse prevention, relationship skills and healthy sexuality. Polygraph examinations are also used as a treatment tool to assist offenders take responsibility for their deviant thoughts and behaviors.
The District opened a Diagnostic and Treatment Center in the Fall of 2012. All sex offenders in the District are initially evaluated and risk assessed at the Diagnostic and Treatment Center. This allows a thorough evaluation of all offenders prior to community placement and reduces the likelihood of high risk offenders being prematurely placed in the community.
Community Work Crew
The purpose of the Community Work Crew is to provide an opportunity for offenders on probation or parole to pay retribution to their community in the form of volunteer work.
These offenders work in various capacities in Pottawattamie County recreational and public works facilities. Projects include park, city, county maintenance and other non-profit organizations. The work holds offenders accountable for their crimes as well as gives them a feeling of ownership to their community.
The work crew also provides an opportunity to train offenders on various types of trades and educates them with different types of skills. This is very beneficial for the offender to help with employment placement in the future. To qualify for completion of a project, an agency or organization must submit a request for assistance in completing a project that is non-funded. The work crew does not replace agency staff, but supplements their
non-funded needs. Materials and construction resources must be provided by the community agency.
Probation/Parole Officers enforce payment of victim restitution.