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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marsy’s Law for Iowa Urges Victim Notification Prior to Inmate Release
DES MOINES, Iowa (March 26, 2020) — As Iowa’s law enforcement community and prosecutors wrestle with decisions to release convicted criminals in order to deter the spread of COVID-19 in Iowa, Marsy’s Law for Iowa is offering a reminder to notify crime victims of an inmate’s release.
“We’re grateful for the lengths that law enforcement from across the state are going to in order to keep our communities safe during this pandemic,” said Eric Baker of Marsy’s Law for Iowa. “We also recognize that during these stressful times, it’s more important than ever for victims to be informed on the status of their offender. Their safety depends on it.”
As the Coronavirus continues to spread, states across the country are looking for ways to decrease the prison population. In fact, recent news accounts in Iowa have detailed jails and prisons considerations for releasing criminals.
Currently, Iowa crime victims are not provided enforceable rights in the state’s constitution. Marsy’s Law for Iowa, a grassroots organization that has been advocating for a crime victims’ rights amendment, points to the fact COVID-19 in Iowa has illustrated why statutory rights are no longer good enough for crime victims.
“If you have been the victim of a non-violent crime, you should reach out to your county attorney if you do not want your offender released,” said Reuben Neff, Wapello County attorney and Marsy’s Law for Iowa supporter. “It’s incredibly frustrating that Iowa crime victims don’t currently have constitutional protections, but this is an action you can take right now to make sure your voice is heard.”
For County Attorney contact information visit the Iowa County Attorneys Association’s website.