Sunday, September 26, 2021


New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.


The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.


A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

IA Sees Worsening Racial Gap in Youth Incarceration


Monday, July 26, 2021   

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa has recently laid out recommendations to reduce overrepresentation of minorities in the juvenile justice system. The effort coincides with a new report, which showed the state is still incarcerating Black teens more often than their white peers.

Research by The Sentencing Project shows Black teens in Iowa are nearly nine times more likely to be locked up than white teens. The overall gap increased by 20% between 2015 and 2019.

Josh Rovner, senior advocacy associate at The Sentencing Project and the report's author, said when seen through a national lens, one big factor is communities of color are much more heavily policed.

"When youth of color experiment with marijuana, they are much more likely to do so in public spaces where they're likely to be arrested for it," Rovner explained. "Whereas white youth living in suburbs might be doing it in their parents' basement, and there's no police around to see that."

Iowa's gap also is bigger than the national average, which saw a small improvement over the same time period.

Last fall, Iowa's Department of Human Rights issued its own report on disparities. Among other things, it called on the state to establish pre-charge diversion programs for all juveniles with first-time, simple misdemeanor offenses.

The Iowa report also recommended eliminating detention placement for juvenile offenders who violate probation.

Rovner noted still having those policies gives judges more reasons to put kids in jail or prison.

"We don't need to tolerate these kinds of misbehavior, but we do need to divert kids from system involvement and make sure that there's no record following them," Rovner asserted.

The Sentencing Project report also confirms there is still a racial gap in Iowa for Latinx youth incarceration, although it improved by 23% from 2011 to 2019.

get more stories like this via email
The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)


SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …

Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…

According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …


SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021