Iowa Eighth Judicial District is committed to serving crime victims by
offering a host of victim and restorative justice services and programming described below. If you have any questions or are interested
in participating in any of these services, please contact
Victim-Offender Services Coordinator,
at (641) 472-4242 Ext. 109. To view a comprehensive list of victim and
community services in the counties we serve, please
click here. To learn more about specific
victim services, follow the links in the left column.
Community Accountability Boards:Local
citizens from all walks of life comprise Community Accountability Boards
in the district. They serve voluntarily to provide the community’s
perspective in addressing crime. The purpose of the boards is to meet
with offenders who are struggling to successfully complete parole or
probation. While the board members provide support to offenders, they
are also obligated to hold offenders accountable for their crimes.
Community Accountability Boards typically meet on a monthly basis and
receive referrals from the District’s probation officers. Currently,
there are four Community Accountability Boards in the Eighth Judicial
District. Two serve the Youthful Offender Programs in
Burlington and Lee County, respectively. The remaining boards serve adult probationers
and parolees in the Ottumwa and Burlington areas.
The Iowa Eighth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services
maintains an open-door policy in providing services to crime victims.
Given the complexity of the criminal justice system, it can be difficult
to anticipate all problems that crime victims might experience. Our
policy is simple: tell us about the problem you are experiencing and we
will try our hardest to resolve the situation. In the past we have
assisted offenders with restitution issues, blocking unwanted phone
calls from inmates, referrals to state and community resources, and
accessing the criminal justice system.
Victim Impact Classes:
Mother’s Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) was instrumental in creating this
curriculum for offenders. The class covers the expanse from property
crime to homicide utilizing victim impact panels and a variety of
interactive exercises to help offenders understand the full impact of
crime on victims and the community at large. This class is taught in
both community corrections and state penal institutions.
Victim Impact Panels:
Some crime victims choose to actively participate in the criminal
justice system by telling their stories directly to offenders in a safe
environment. This can be done through a Victim Impact Class, in
conjunction with the Sex Offender Program, or on an individual basis.
For some victims, and survivors of sexual abuse, the opportunity to tell
their stories can be one way in which they begin to regain control of
their lives; others are interested in preventing future victimizations
by sharing their experiences with offenders who do not fully understand
or accept the impact of their criminal behaviors. Serving on a victim
impact panels is not for everyone. Victims must be fully aware of the
risks and benefits of participation. If interested, contact our
Victim-Offender Intervention Sessions:
Upon request, victims are provided the opportunity to meet face-to-face
with offenders to discuss how their lives have been impacted by crime.
Victims often have questions that only offenders can answer— questions
such as “Why me?” For offenders the meetings provide an opportunity for
face-to-face accountability, to understand the real impact of crime on
their victims and to, perhaps, make amends. These meetings are conducted
in the presence of a trained mediator who spends hours preparing the
parties to meet. Victim-offender intervention sessions are not for
everyone and should be entered into with caution and a full
understanding of the inherent risks and benefits.
Related state and
national links for crime victim services and resources: