No clear distinction between agencies

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: February 13 2014 | 11:45 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 3:36 am in
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Former director Gary Hinzman was hired in 1989 by the 6th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services (DCS) to run an agency that supervises criminal offenders in the community, according to Iowa Code Chapter 905.

Around 1991, the former director started a foundation, Community Corrections Improvement Association (CCIA), to “support community corrections.” According to a state audit report (Jan. 10), there is no clear distinction between the two agencies. The audit report and others (State Public Policy Group) expressed a concern that DCS staff — who were hired to work for and paid by DCS (taxpayer money) — were working for CCIA during their DCS work hours. The percentage of work times for the foundation varied from 100 percent to 5 percent. The practice continues today.

No one stated that the programs run by CCIA are not worthwhile. The issue is that DCS line staff has been doing more work with fewer resources. With some staff expected to work for CCIA, how could the former director justify DCS staff working for the foundation? Why does this practice continue?

It is important to reiterate that the additional vacation and sick leave was given to management staff, not line staff. Line staff is doing more work with management receiving the extra benefits.

Insinuating that people are barring progress takes the focus off the real problems. The focus needs to be holding those accountable for what has happened. After all, one of the responsibilities of DCS is to hold people accountable for their actions.

Jeff Grell, President

AFSCME Local 3289

Waterloo

 

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