The Iowa SRR was an initiative launched in 2015 by the Department of Corrections and many other state agencies. The mission is simple: launch work both internally and externally with stakeholders to implement actions that will help curb or decrease the recidivism rate in Iowa. 

Now that the design phase of the SRR has concluded, the next phase of the project will be to implement and continue to refine best practices. If the department and its partners are successful, Iowa should begin to see a decline in the recidivism rate in time. 

For more information on the Iowa SRR beyond what is included in this page, you can visit 

What are the goals of the grant and what is the process for reaching these goals?

The primary goal is a significant reduction in recidivism. The two year recidivism goal is a 20% reduction; and five year goal, 30% reduction. The focus is on comprehensive system-wide change, infrastructure building, and sustainability. The initiative will achieve these goals by focusing on quality assurance, training, pre-release planning, job competencies, and evidence based workloads.

Will there be more treatment programs offered?

The effectiveness and fidelity of our current programs will be evaluated, which may require changes in our current treatment programs. The goal is to establish core correctional programming and investments in programs that demonstrate recidivism reduction.

What happens when the three year grant expires?

This grant is about system-wide change and sustaining that change through one-time investments. Examples include upgrading IT infrastructure, train-the-trainers, developing training curriculum, hiring, promoting, and evaluating staff based on core correctional practices, policy, & QA. The funds from this grant are being used to enhance and improve current practices.

Will we be able to hire more staff?

The Statewide Recidivism Reduction (SRR) Initiative will only support three positions. One position is the statewide coordinator who will manage the entire implementation and planning effort. The other two will coordinate all quality assurance activities.

How will this impact my job?

System-wide change impacts everyone’s job. This requires buy-in from supervisors, case managers,

security staff, and support staff. As we embrace change and improve our skills through job specific training, we will all have the opportunity to develop into more effective agents of change.

Who oversees the grant and who is responsible for implementation and evaluation?

The Offender Reentry Task Force (ORTF) will guide and oversee the implementation process. The task force is composed of various agency representation across the state. Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning will evaluate recidivism reduction outcomes.

What agencies are involved and what role do they play?

This will be a collaborative effort with various community agencies across the state who have a vested interest in public safety and reducing victimization. There will be a multitude of community agencies involved in this grant including the Department of Public Health, Department of Human Services, and National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

Is the focus of the grant more on CBCs or institutions?

This grant will take a system-wide approach. Both institutions and CBCs will be equally impacted.

Why is this change necessary?

Iowa’s recidivism rate has decreased by only 1.6 percentage points from FY 2000 to FY 2009. Three deficiencies have prevented DOC from attaining lower recidivism rates and will be addressed in this grant:

  • Lack of continuous quality assurance of offender interventions, to include staff training in support of best practices and ensuring fidelity to best practices
  • Need to expand collaborations among stakeholders serving offenders
  • Need for follow through to implement recidivism reduction plans