Iowa DNA Sampling Bill Goes to Governor

DES MOINES, Iowa — A bill that would require Iowa offenders over the age of 18 who have been convicted of certain misdemeanors to provide a DNA sampling has gone to the desk of Gov. Terry Branstad for approval.

The Iowa House approved amendments made by the Senate, which included the removal of deferred judgment cases as well as offenses related to agricultural production, hazardous waste and gaming and betting, in a 84-15 vote last week. Currently, only those convicted of a felony or sexual offense are required to provide a DNA sampling for the federal database.

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Difficult For Ex-Offenders To Find Jobs, Study Finds

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Ex-offenders face tremendous barriers to employment, according to results of a recent survey by economic development policy students at the University of Iowa.
The percentage of Eastern Iowa businesses that automatically disqualify ex-offenders ranges from 25 percent for DUI to 80 percent for a violent crime, the survey found.
“An employer’s aversion attenuates over time,” said Brenda Dodge, Operations Director of the Iowa City Workforce Center – IowaWorks.

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Geothermal Plans In The Works for Courthouse

NEWTON, Iowa — Jasper County Supervisors are weighing options for the replacement of the Jasper County Courthouses aging heating and cooling system.
Vic Amoroso of AJ Associates made an appearance at the supervisors meeting Tuesday to present the results of a HVAC system replacement study for the courthouse.
The study found that the system, installed in 1986, is reaching the end of its useful life, and there are more elements in the current system than are really needed.

Iowa Addresses Prison Overcrowding

DES MOINES — Iowa prisons are overcrowded, but a construction program and coordination with the Board of Parole should reduce overcrowding, Department of Corrections Director John Baldwin told lawmakers Wednesday.
The prison population is 23 percent over capacity, Baldwin told the Transportation, Infrastructures and Capitals Appropriations Subcommittee.
Iowa’s nine prisons have a capacity of 7,209 but currently house 8,883 inmates, Baldwin said, an increase from 8,200 a year ago.

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