Iowa has nine correctional institutions with varying security levels.  Placement decisions are made based on an objective custody classification assessment/reassessment process.

Community-based corrections provides correctional supervision and services in a community setting as an alternative to jail or prison.

Pretrial services provide supervision for some arrestees prior to disposition of their criminal charges, to ensure all court appearances and obligations are met.

Presentence investigations provide the court with background information on the defendant. It also helps the judge with sentencing decisions. 

Probation supervision is a decision made by the sentencing judge. It allows the offender to remain in the community instead of spending time in prison or jail. Offenders placed on probation go through an objective assessment process. This helps decide the supervision level needed and the level of risk the offender is to the community. It also aids in case planning needs. Supervision may range from very little to intensive. It may involve electronic monitoring. Referrals to correctional programs, local treatment providers, and other resources are an option.

Parole supervision is granted by the board of parole.  It is for a set period of time following time in prison. Parolees undergo the same assessment, case planning, and treatment referral processes as probationers.

Special sentence supervision is for sex offenders, as set by the Iowa Code. It occurs after the offender serves the criminal penalty part of the sentence. It can be for a lifetime, depending on the convicting offense. Assessment, case planning, and treatment referral processes are identical for all supervised offenders.

Residential correctional facilities are non-secure housing that provides 24-hour supervision. Offenders are able to leave the facility for approved job-seeking, employment, or treatment. Many different offender situations are live in these residential facilities:

  • Work Release. The parole board has approved that the offender may transition to the community this way.
  • OWI Continuum. Repeated drunk driving offenders may move to residential correctional facilities. This gives them the chance to receive substance abuse treatment per the Iowa Code.
  • Probation. The sentencing judge may order community supervision. A residential correctional facility can be an alternative to incarceration.
  • Other situations. Offenders may be federal, interstate compact, or offenders on special sentences, etc.

More information on each can be found on our Find a Facility page.