Iowa Justice Action Network
We are a network of citizens from across the state whose purpose is to exchange information and take action to reduce mass incarceration. We first came together in 2015. Issues we are addressing include:
- Reducing incarceration and increasing treatment for the mentally ill and those addicted to drugs.
- Reducing or eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing.
- Expanding alternatives to imprisonment for non-violent offenders.
- Increasing support for those returning from prison to change lives and reduce recidivism.
- Seeking alternatives to the War on Drugs.
- Working to reform the sentence of life without parole with more just implementation practices.
- Informing state legislators about the issues and urging them to take action.
- Participating in a Lobby Day during the session.
- Gathering and exchanging in depth information on issues.
- Informing the public about the negative impact of mass incarceration on individuals and society.
Our Diverse and Broad Membership
- Members of non-profit organizations providing services to those involved in the criminal justice system.
- Professionals working for public correctional facilities and services.
- Formerly incarcerated persons and their families.
- Mental Health professionals.
- Representatives of faith communities.
- Faculty and students from colleges and universities.
- Other concerned citizens from many different backgrounds.
IJAN helps you to become informed about mass incarceration by providing access to a wide range of resources:
- National organizations doing high quality research on the topic, much of which challenges prevailing stereotypes and misinformation.
- Criminal justice data from Iowa.
- Research on reforms in other states, many of which are far ahead of Iowa in making constructive changes.
- Narratives by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people concerning their experiences in the system.
IJAN has formed collaborative relationships with advocacy organizations, including, among others, the League of Women Voters, The Reform Alliance, The Iowa/Nebraska NAACP, The Interfaith Alliance, and Iowa Against the Death Penalty. We are eager to collaborate with other organizations addressing criminal justice reform.
During each year’s session of the Iowa Legislature, IJAN tracks bills that may impact the criminal justice system, either positively or negatively. We then urge members of our network to contact their legislators to let them know our views on these proposals. We also track administrative changes in the system and local issues that may have implications for the whole state.
IJAN sponsors at least one major conference each year on an important topic related to reforming mass incarceration. We also sponsor focused information sessions on particular issues through our Tuesdays with IJAN sessions. Finally, we are available to speak to any group or organization concerning these issues.
Meet Our Board Members
Passionate Board Members with experience in leadership. Our Board includes Professors, Business Leaders, Public Servants and Community Activists.
Co-Chair of IJAN
Richard Allen Hays, Jr. is Emeritus Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Northern Iowa. From 1979 to 2013, he served as a Professor of Political Science and from…
Co-Chair of IJAN
I have been part of IJAN since our very first workshop. I retired form my 35-year career as a Substance Disorder and Family Therapist in 2011 and began my current volunteer career as an activist…
Christy Hutcheson is a retired Assistant Provost for Research and Sponsored Programs at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). During her career at UNI, she led the University’s research efforts…
I was a founder of IJAN and have continued to serve on the board, serving as Secretary and Tuesdays with IJAN host. I have especially enjoyed helping to plan our annual conferences….
Lisa Ambrose, BS, has over 15 years in the Human Services Field. Ambrose worked as an Advocate for about 3 years before starting Amani Community Services in 2014, in both Waterloo and Cedar…
Doug Marshall is a certified Offender Workforce Development Specialist. Before retiring from Iowa Workforce Development, he assisted job seekers in Waterloo’s Correctional Centers…
Learn about our official stance regarding important issues.
Get in Touch
Reach out with any questions, concerns or collaboration.
Become an IJAN Member. IJAN Memberships are free.