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Iowa Supreme Court forms task force to seek improvements in juvenile justice system

Iowa Supreme Court in Des Moines

DES MOINES – The Iowa Supreme Court formed a task force to seek improvements in the state’s juvenile justice system.

The Iowa Supreme Court believes it is time for a holistic review of the juvenile justice system. Iowa’s Juvenile Justice System is decentralized with its governance, services, funding, and data collection divided among four state entities: the Iowa Judicial Branch, the Iowa Department of Human Services, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Iowa Department of Human Rights. In the past few years, stakeholders implemented various programs intended to improve the juvenile justice system from their perspective. While well intentioned, those individualized improvements oftentimes have repercussions throughout the system.

The Iowa Supreme Court is establishing a Juvenile Justice Task Force to review the continuum of care in Iowa’s Juvenile Justice System and make recommendations to improve its services, governance, and data collection. Recommendations shall also include options to address the system’s racial and gender disparities. Task force members are made up of Iowans who include service providers, law enforcement, legislators, county attorneys, public defenders, attorneys, youth and family members, law schools, and the four state entities mentioned above.

The court appoints the following persons to serve on the Task Force:

Christensen, Honorable Susan, Chief Justice; Co-Chair of Task Force Jensen, Chad, Director of Juvenile Court Services; Co-Chair of Task Force

Abbott, Andrew, Attorney, Waterloo
Allen, Andrew, Juvenile Justice Advisory Council, Ames
Andrews, Betty, NAACP, Des Moines
Blomme, Emily, Foundation 2 Shelter, Cedar Rapids
Campbell, Terrance, Chief Juvenile Court Officer, Waterloo
Cole, Chris, Chief of Police, Storm Lake Police Department, Storm Lake

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Cournoyer, Chris, State Senator, Le Claire

Dinsdale, Wendi, Juvenile Court Officer, Webster City

Espinoza, Adriana, Orange City

Faircloth, Shirley, Chief Juvenile Court Officer, Marshalltown

Fitzgerald, Lynn, Juvenile Court Officer, Davenport

Forker-Parry, Honorable Stephanie, District Associate Judge, Sioux City

Garcia, Kelly or designee, Director, Department of Human Services and Department of Public Health, Des Moines

Garcia, Patrick, Boys’ Town, NE
Girres, Chris, Juvenile Court Officer, Council Bluffs
Hawkins, John, Chief Juvenile Court Officer, Des Moines
Hernandez, Stephanie, Family Resources, Davenport
Hobart, Scott, Chief Juvenile Court Officer, Davenport
Howe, Erik, Assistant Polk County Attorney, Des Moines
Hutchings, Brent, Woodward Academy, Woodward
Johnson, Kyle, Juvenile Court Officer, Des Moines
Larson, Dan, Polk County Detention, Des Moines
Lebo, Ann or designee, Director, Department of Education, Des Moines Lindner, Leslie, Juvenile Court Officer, Keokuk
Loeb, Ben, Juvenile Court Officer, Independence
Long, Natasha, Burlington
Mailander, Karen, Attorney, Anita
Martens, Mike, Emmett County Sheriff
McGarvey, Cory, Cedar Rapids Police Department, Cedar Rapids McGlynn, Honorable James, Senior Judge, Webster City
Michael, Steve, Department of Human Rights, Des Moines
Minot, Honorable Deborah, District Associate Judge, Iowa City
Mohr, Gary, State Representative, Bettendorf
Nicol, Honorable Linnea, District Associate Judge, West Union
Niles, Gary, Chief Juvenile Court Officer, Sioux City
Ohman, Matt, SHIP, Sioux City
Oliver, Kristie, Coalition for Family and Children’s Services, Des Moines

Ordaz Landeros, Omar, Des Moines

Owens, Honorable William, District Associate Judge, Ottumwa

Pattison, Honorable Brent, District Associate Judge, Des Moines

Ragan, Amanda, State Senator, Mason City

Reed, Tony, Central Iowa Detention, Eldora

Rempe, Michael, Chief Juvenile Court Officer, West Burlington

Ross, Timothy, Chief Juvenile Court Officer, Council Bluffs

Schinstock, Secalee, Juvenile Court Officer, Cedar Rapids

Schmiedt, David, Juvenile Court Officer, Sioux City

Schott, Dawn, Linn County Detention, Cedar Rapids

Schumacher, Honorable Julie, Iowa Court of Appeals, Schleswig

Scorza, Kim, Crittenton Center, Sioux City

Scott, Deanna, Midwest Christian Services, Peterson

Sikorski, Paul, Chief of Police Davenport Police Department, Davenport

Skinner, Doctor Beth or designee, Department of Corrections, Des Moines

Strait, Honorable Scott, District Associate Judge, Council Bluffs

Tabor, Honorable Mary, Iowa Court of Appeals, Des Moines

Thompson, Kathy, Iowa Children’s Justice, Des Moines

Traum, Honorable Cheryl, District Associate Judge, Davenport

Tupper, Michael or designee, Chief of Police, Marshalltown Police Department, Marshalltown

Vander Ploeg, Joshua, Assistant Dubuque County Attorney, Dubuque Weber, Ryan, Woodbury County Detention, Sioux City Wessel-Kroeschell, Beth, State Representative, Ames
Wright, Jeff or designee, State Public Defender, Des Moines

Wyatt, Christopher, Chief Juvenile Court Officer, Cedar Rapids

Shay Bilchik, Founder and Director Emeritus of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University, and Mindy Schweitzer Smith, Senior Research Associate, Center for Criminal Justice Research, University of Cincinnati, will provide technical assistance to the task force.


A task force report is tentatively scheduled to be publicly released in November 2022.

Task Force members may be reimbursed for necessary and reasonable travel expenses according to Iowa Court Rules 22.16 through 22.2.

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