Iowa domestic assault victim pushes for Habitual Offender Law

POLK COUNTY, Iowa-  A central Iowa woman is working to keep habitual, domestic abusers behind bars for a longer period  of time.

Tiffany Allison tells WHO Radio News she was motivated to do so, after she was attacked in 2009.   She created a non-profit called Soaring Hearts to try and pass laws to better protect victims of domestic violence.

She wants Iowa lawmakers to pass a Habitual Offender law, to keep such offenders behind bars longer, so they can be rehabilitated.   She says currently offenders don't spend enough time in prison to complete adequate rehabilitation programs.

Allison says the Third Strike, Violent Felony Bill, would apply to offenders who have had many chances to change their ways, but continue to harm others.

She notes, in actuality, an offender with three felonies has often been charged with other violent crimes in the past, but may have received deferred judgments or were granted plea agreements. 

Allison says the bill would apply to someone who has had many chances to change their ways, but still chooses to harm someone.

The bill has been introduced before in the Iowa Legislature, but has failed to advance.   Allison says she does credit lawmakers for passing a bill last year that cuts the "time-off" for good behavior, for violent domestic offenders.   That law also made it illegal to use a GPS device  to track someone  without their knowledge.

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