In Iowa City, home to the University of Iowa, initiatives are in place to diminish the legal impact on students making poor decisions early in life. In an effort to reduce arrests and incarceration of students, the following programs have been established:
- Diversion Programs for Drug and Alcohol Cases. The County Attorney’s Office implemented a marijuana diversion program in July 2010 and an alcohol diversion program in January 2011. These initiatives replace jail time with treatment and education programs.
- Driving Under Suspicion Court. The “Rocket Docket” court allows defendants facing simple misdemeanor Driving Under Suspension (DUS) charges to pay past due fines and other financial obligations in order to get a valid driver’s license in exchange for having their DUS charge dismissed.
- Drug Court. A Drug Court provides extensive drug treatment, supervision, and weekly contact with the judge and Drug Court team. This reduces recidivism and saves millions of dollars.
- Substance Abuse Evaluations and Treatment. It’s been determined that many people are incarcerated for what seem to be uniquely drug-related crimes. By removing the drug influence from people’s lives, with treatment, they can return to a normal productive life.