Advocates of mothers who are confined to Iowa prison cells plan a midday rally on the steps of the Iowa Statehouse today. Betty Christensen, a leader of the group “Friends of Iowa Women Prisoners,” says mothers who are locked up for non-violent crimes need to be given another chance.
The prisoner support group traditionally holds this sort of demonstration just before Mother’s Day. Christensen, of Urbandale, says the women she thinks deserve a second chance are in prison for crimes involving things like writing bad checks, credit card fraud or drugs and alcohol offenses, or so-called non-violent crimes.
Christensen says of the 560 women in prison in Iowa, about 65-percent of them have dependent children. She says most of the women are victims themselves — of substance abuse.Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson is among the scheduled speakers at the noon event.