POLK COUNTY, Iowa — The new Polk County sheriff hopes the new First Step Act will bring changes to Iowa.
The U.S. House and Senate passed the new criminal justice reforms this week. Among the hallmarks of the legislation is the softening of some sentences for non-violent offenders.
Sheriff Kevin Schneider says he’s also looking to expand programs to prevent inmates from returning to prison.
Sheriff Schneider says many inmates would respond well if given the benefit of the doubt.
“We want to stay smart but tough. We have victims to protect as well not just the folks that become incarcerated, there is a reason they are here, and if there is somebody that we can help and try to change their life around, we think that is the best thing possible,” said Schneider.
Sheriff Schneider says more than 1,000 inmates can be booked in the Polk County Jail on any given day.