As an inmate at the Iowa State Penitentiary, I would like to give the city of Cedar Rapids a firsthand point of view on why I think that it is a bad idea to close Luster Heights prison camp.
Bringing in a (similar) minimum security facility (John Bennett), which is right next to Iowa State Penitentiary, has given offenders such as myself the opportunity to go out in to the communities such as Fort Madison and Keokuk and work and also prove to citizens that we are trying to become law-abiding citizens.
I understand that rehabilitation in these workout facilities are the main focus for corrections officers and offenders, so why would Gov. Branstad want to close places while success rates are up and escape minimal?
The rate of recidivism would be much greater if these facilities close and the crime statistics in our communities would go up.
These facilities also give inmates a chance to transition back in to normal civilian life and not just be pushed out. I hope that the citizens of Cedar Rapids understand that the Department of Corrections would really be wrong to close such beneficial facilities.
Iowa State Penitentiary
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