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Globe Gazette article riddled with mistakes, says Reed

Tony Reed, the Operator of the Central Iowa Juvenile Detention Center in Eldora, says the Globe Gazette made a lot of mistakes in an article written by John Skipper on December 1st.|Tony Reed is the director of the Central Iowa Juvenile Detention Center in Eldora. Mr. Reed was written about in a story on December 1 by John Skipper of the Globe Gazette. The article discussed costs associated with sending juvenile offenders to the Central Iowa facility versus the North Iowa Juvenile Detention Center, located in Waterloo, the facility Cerro Gordo county currently uses.

Mr. Reed made the case in the article that Cerro Gordo County should at least consider his facility instead of the facility in Waterloo, based on lower rates and other factors. However, one Cerro Gordo Supervisor, Bob Amosson, is the chairman of the North Iowa facility, and Reed says that is why Cerro Gordo County will not consider the Central Iowa Juvenile Detention Center as an option. The Cerro Gordo County Supervisors refuse to even listen to Mr. Reed at a Supervisor’s meeting. The last Supervisor’s meeting was four minutes long.

Mr. Reed contacted in an effort to inform the public of the “horrible” mis-quotes and “a lot of errors” in the article written by Skipper.

Reed says the following were problems in the Globe Gazette article:

  • John Skipper wrote: ” ‘That means the annual cost per juvenile is $73,500 in Waterloo compared to $29,400 at our facility, a difference of $44,100,’ said Reed.”
    Reed says the $44,100 is annual savings, not per juvenile.
  • John Skipper wrote: “Cerro Gordo juvenile offenders are now sent to the North Iowa Juvenile Detention Center in Waterloo where the rates are $125 a day per juvenile. The rates at the Eldora center are $75 a day.”
    Reed says his facility at Central Iowa is $50 per day, which is $75 per day cheaper than the North Iowa facility in Waterloo, which charges $125 per day for a juvenile to be housed there. The savings estimates are based on 5 year average bed days.
  • John Skipper wrote: “Reed said the Central Iowa center is in terrific financial shape.”
    Reed told “This line seems like a misquote, I don’t use the word terrific. I stated we had $750,000 in excess last year, seems that should’ve been in the story, I also stated and in prior info sent you that North Iowa lost $411,329 last year, however you did not report on this, instead you stated I said we were in terrific shape and then reported on FY 2009 Financial information on NORTH IOWA, wouldn’t it be better to report on last year also, and then report on both centers.”
  • John Skipper wrote: “Reed said his juvenile population is increasing – but he said service is a far bigger issue than money.”
    Reed says “Pretty sure I did not state our population is INCREASING, check that one, it does not make any sense based on our organization. I fully explained why we can charge so much less based on diversification of services, but that did not make it to the article. I stated customers choose to use our services, including tracking and transportation in Cerro Gordo over North Iowa, yet that did not make the article either.”
  • John Skipper wrote: ” ‘We provide more services at lower costs,’ said Reed.”
    Reed says “Pretty sure I did not state this as 1 sentence, do you check these quotes before publishing, I assume you record calls, DO YOU???? We do provide more services and we do have a lower detention rate, but you cant combine all that into the that sentence.”

    Reed continued his list of errors in the story in the Globe written by Skipper, saying “North Iowa does not serve 22 counites, they have never had 22, had 21 last year, not sure if that is your error or Bob’s (Amosson). They currently have 20 members, might be newsworthy to inform that Marshall county voted to completely withdraw from North Iowa (Juvenile Detention Center) last year. Central Iowa added 20 counties last year, North Iowa lost 4 counties last year, all to Central Iowa. Central Iowa is closer, provides all of Cerro Gordo’s transportation and tracking. Financially, no one can argue that North Iowa is in better financial shape than Central Iowa. North Iowa charges Cerro Gordo County 250% as much as we would for the same service. In the age of accountable government, now is the time for Cerro Gordo to make the switch. “

    Reed wants to know if the Globe Gazette plans a follow up story to the December 1st article. “(It’s a shame) to have the readers hear Bob (Amosson) say that North Iowa is in better financial shape after losing almost $220K in FY 2009 and another 400k in FY 2010 than CENTRAL IOWA when we had excess of $150k in FY 2009 and $750K in FY 2010. Why don’t you (Skipper and the Globe) counter the misclaims Bob has made in regard to better financial shape, less loans, but DEFINITELY NOT BETTER FINANCIAL SHAPE. Also, what happened to the discussion about 3 of North Iowa’s remaining 20 counties (Wright, Franklin and Floyd) joining with us (Central Iowa) last year. They were North Iowa’s 3rd, 5th and 7th biggest detention users, also close in proximity to Cerro Gordo, this also seems newsworthy.”

    Reed says he has no hard feelings about the Globe article, and added “I truly respect Mr. Amosson, we just don’t fully agree on this topic but I do feel we have increased some common ground. I would welcome the opportunity to speak with the supervisors again on this topic, a great deal has changed in the past year since we last discussed it. Central Iowa just wants the best for Cerro Gordo juveniles, taxpayers and the county.”

    Chart explaining cost differences between North Iowa and Central Iowa juvenile centers,
    provided by Tony Reed

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