Families and advocates of incarcerated individuals at Newton Correctional Facility had been waiting months for the Iowa Board of Corrections to provide some semblance of an answer to their questions regarding the state’s civil commitment program. It was finally put on the agenda. Open for all to see.
Although the department of corrections and its board members acknowledged their concerns, advocates left the meeting last month feeling hopeless.
Despite a presentation about the sex offender civil commitment referral process from its program manager, Ken Pirc, those in attendance were still left scratching their heads and questioning whether the code directing the process is adequate. Final words from board member Webster Kranto further solidified their anguish.
“What I’ve learned over the years on this board and the conclusion I’ve come to is that I can’t actually change anything. I don’t think we can change anything. As time goes on, the rules change constantly to give us less and less power, less and less access,” he said. “In real life I don’t think there’s anything we can do.”