Time has come for overhaul of Iowa’s criminal justice system
Government’s role in defending its citizens from crime through enforcement of our laws and by exacting punishment upon those who violate them is not up for debate. But, given recent news accounts involving previously violent criminals allegedly committing new violent crimes, perhaps how government is performing that role should be.
Whether the kidnappings and murders in Evansdale and Dayton are connected or not, it is clear the man who is believed to have committed the latter crime, Michael Klunder, never should have been out of prison. Looking at the local case of Daniel Jay Jensen, a Newton man who is alleged to have committed a violent crime while out on bond for less than three months awaiting trial for another violent crime he had been accused of committing, we again find someone who probably shouldn’t have been set free.
It is true the recidivism rate — the rate at which offenders return to prison within three years — in Iowa is significantly below the national average. But, the last time that rate was checked was more than five years ago, and even then, it only reviewed the recidivism rate for violent offenders.
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