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Domestic abuser jailed for failing to complete batterer’s education course

MASON CITY – Sometimes the courts will force a person who beats up his loved ones to take a class that helps him confront his abuse issues.

A Mason City man who pled guilty earlier this year to a reduced charge of first offense domestic assault and violated a no-contact order a number of times failed to attend a court-ordered batterer’s education course and was found to be in contempt of court Tuesday and sent to jail.

Jerry Martice McKnight, age 31, was sentenced to two days in jail Tuesday by Judge Patrick Byrne. He was also placed on 1 year of probation. This was in connection to a domestic assault he committed in 2013 and pled guilty to in 2014. McKnight was also accused of violating the no-contact order at least 5 times; the no-cotnact order in the case was lifted on September 25.

The batterer’s education program in Iowa is a sixteen-week program offered to confront issues of relationship control and abuse. Current tuition cost is typically $500.

Mcknight, Jerry Martice

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Most of these classes have no effect, except to give certain people jobs as counselors.

Years ago, one of the local news outlets had a story about some program at Prairie Ridge that was seeking some county funds. One of the pols asked the question how many had successfully completed the program last year. The answer was “none”.

The question was then asked, “why are we funding it then?”

I would like to see a study on recidivism rates for those who complete the batterers’ program.

Keep him in jail this time and when he finishes his sentence send him back where he came from.

That is really a good idea LVS, I like it.

Give them a reasonable time to move out of our County to the place of their choosing. Let the battered person follow them if they so choose. That would put the tax burden elsewhere for us spending money for the judges, attorneys, the sheriff and the jail time for these people. I really like the idea and think it should be talked about and implemented.

The program would then lose a source of income. It’s paid for by those attending.

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