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There is no requirement for line staff representation on the Board. This is truly disappointing but a fact.
A few years ago, our line staff completed a survey regarding management and the Board of Directors. The results showed a lack of confidence not only in our upper management but also our Board. Because of the results of this survey, our Board of Directors has made some positive changes. And some truly remarkable things are occurring based on the collaboration between staff and the Board.
But we are not where we want to be. We, line staff, feel that we have a lot of information to offer to the “decision-makers” who work on budgets, policies, etc. All of those items also directly affect us. We are constantly being told that as Probation Officers, we need to include our clients in the decisions that are made about their Case Plans (the direction of the supervision). Doesn’t it then make sense that we, line, who are affected by the decisions, should be part of the decision making process?
I have proudly worked for CBC for 20 years. Every day, I go into an environment that has the potential to be dangerous. And I work with offenders from all walks of life with all kinds of issues. I love my job! I would so appreciate the opportunity for Line Staff to be a part of making decisions that affect all of us who work so hard every day.
Thanks for visiting our site.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or comments.
In Iowa, CBC’s are a hybrid, if you will. While we obtain monies from the State Department of Corrections, our District Director, according to Iowa Code, reports to the District Board of Directors. The Boards are made up of County Supervisors from the counties served in the District and Judicial Appointees.
Judicial Appointees are recommended to the Chief Judge by the District Director.
Hello, my name is Candace and I am a Probation Officer in the State of Iowa. I would like to introduce and offer an explanation for this web site “Iowa Voices”.
I have been working for the Department of Correctional Services for over 21 years. As a result of a recent Women’s Leadership Academy I created this website to communicate, across the State, what Community Based Corrections (CBC) employees do. CBC employees consist of Probation, Parole, High Risk Unit, & Residential Officers, Community Treatment Coordinators, and Support Staff to mention a few.
We help facilitate behavior change plans for people who have broken the law. Teach courses in rehabilitation and prevention.
We guide offenders to pursue education and resources to become productive citizens again. We hold offenders accountable for damaging or taking another person’s property. As Officers we enforce the law when someone chooses to endanger a member/s of the community. It is our goal to reduce the number of victims of drunk drivers, robbers, domestic abusers, sex offenders and murderers. We are professionals who take pride in our work and risk our own personal safety to help better our communities.
However, as employees of this department we are not able to represent our positions at the Board of Directors meetings overseeing our Districts. CBC workers are not permitted to participate in discussions concerning budget, policies, department/employee needs or on any other topics the Board of Directors make decisions on. This is not a new concept, teachers, pharmacists, & nurses among others have seats on boards that address their professional needs & progress. CBC workers have earned the right to speak at the Board of Directors meetings. Unfortunately, the current law in Iowa does not require the Board to have a CBC representative member. Currently a position on the board is at the discretion of the Board President. We, “labor”, want to be at the table for all meetings and to have a voice that is heard before decisions that directly impact our work are made. Some districts already include labor representatives in their meetings; for policy discussions, and sometimes workers participate in the interview and hiring process. As professionals in corrections we speak directly to what programs work and which ones do not. Our firsthand knowledge should be used to benefit and shape CBC programs and help us fight to keep the communities we serve safer.
The photos, videos, and testimonials provided on this website show what the employees of Community Based Corrections do at our jobs and how we serve our communities. We are proud to be a part of the neighborhoods we work to protect.
Thank you for taking time to visit this page. Please feel free to contact us with questions or comments.
My name is Julie Brandt and I work for the 2nd Judicial District Department of Correctional Services where my current position is Community Treatment Coordinator.
My experience with AFSCME started in 1997 when I worked at the Newton Correctional Facility as a Correctional Officer but my experience with labor unions began when I was an infant as my father was a proud Teamster and later a Teamster business agent and I feel I was born and raised union.
When I was approached and asked to be a part of a project that could lead to getting a union member on all eight of our state's Community Corrections Board of Directors I was very excited as I have worked in more than one district and I have seen a board with no transparency, hidden meetings and threats if employees tried to contact the board members which led to a lot of mistrust and fear among the employees and manifested itself in the form of conspiracy theories that did no good for anyone.
I believe if a union member is allowed to sit on each board it will allow labor a voice in issues that very much affect us on a daily basis. Most of the board members in the districts I have had experience with do not have Corrections background and therefore do not understand the day to day work we do or the struggles we face on a daily basis and at this time base decisions they make on information that is brought to them primarily by management who have a significantly different day to day experience than the line workers.
I see a sitting union board member as an opportunity as well for board members to ask about labor issues and someone who could be a liaison between the board and labor.
I look forward to visiting many of the district boards to share this plan with them, and although I expect some resistance and some indifference I am excited to be part of this ground breaking idea from the start.
Hello! My name is Julie Schultz. I am a Residential Probation Officer in Cedar Rapids. I am also the AFSCME Chapter Chair in the 6th District and have recently been voted President of the State Wide Community Based Corrections (CBC) Local.