Leaders from Iowa’s mental health and prison industries will meet late this morning for a roundtable discussion of the latest problems being caused by state budget cuts. Gary Hinzman, director of the Community Corrections Improvement Association organized the meeting, which he says they’ll use to look for answers.The Des Moines forum is drawing attendees including: Iowa Corrections chief Kip Kautzky, human rights leaders, victim advocates, judges and community leaders. In a Radio Iowa story this week, Kautzky said he’s concerned for the safety of his prison guards as programs are cut that keep inmates out of mischief. Hinzman says the problems are even worse on the “outside” as service and treatments get cut.Hinzman says many programs that help treat the mental problems of current and former inmates are being whittled away. With the dramatic scalebacks, offenders will fail in the community, which means more victims of crime.The roundtable runs from 11:30 to 1 today at the Des Moines office of the State Public Policy Group. Another roundtable talk is planned for April 26th in Cedar Rapids.
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