Betty Andrews, president of the Iowa-Nebraska NAACP, says criminal justice system is tops the list.
Andrews posed these questions: “How can we completely prize liberty when Iowa remains at the top of disproportionality in locking up African Americans? When black people live in constant fear? When black mothers and fathers always have the conversation with their children about how to safely survive a police encounter?”
The NAACP is also backing the so-called “ban the box” initiative, which would remove the question on job applications if the individual has a criminal conviction. “The goal of that is to allow people to be considered and not have their applications immediately thrown in the trash. It would allow them to explain that they may have committed a crime when they were 18 and now they’re 42 and they’ve turned their life around,” Andrews said.
Governor Terry Branstad and Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady both cited criminal justice reform among their chief priorities this year