Dr. Hays gave a very interesting and timely talk on taking action towards reducing the mass incarceration of detainees within the State of Iowa. He discussed the need of reducing or eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing and tort reform.
Beyond their term of incarceration, prisoners experience a lifetime of problems. Once a person gets into the criminal justice system and pays his/her debt to society; there still remains a stigma on the already adjudicated crime that brands the person to a life time sentence. The end result is a high probability of that person returning to prison again and again.
Dr. Hays is advocating more funding for mental health treatment programs, drug addiction treatment, training for law enforcement, for families in distress because of incarceration of non-violent offenders, and also seeking alternatives to the War on Drugs.
Thank you making us more aware of this issue, Dr. Hays.
Written by Lynne Barnes and Leigh Zeitz