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Chief Justice Says Challenges Ahead for Iowa Judiciary System

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Chief Justice Mark Cady delivered the Condition of the Judiciary at the Iowa Statehouse Wednesday.

Cady focused on many of the challenges the Iowa court system currently faces during his speech. He says last year Iowa dropped from the fourth best court system in the nation to the 13th.

Iowa courts have seen a ten-percent reduction in workforce over the past year. Because of this reduction, Cady says they cannot keep the commitment he made two years ago that all cases would be tried on the date set for trial.

He says another challenge is the lack of court services in rural areas compared to urban areas.

Cady also focused on the importance of the younger generations.

“Every child is too good to lose. We must not stand by and allow any one of them to be left behind. This is what the process of justice must be for Iowa's children,” Cady said.

Representative Ako Abdul-Samad said Cady really hit a nerve with his speech and agrees that both legislators and the courts need to focus on the future generations and rehabilitation over incarceration.
“Our future isn't an individual that makes a 4.0...our future isn’t an individual that we just hold up. That we need some time to give second chances when they're babies...as then waiting till a lot of adults that ask for second chances. Our babies need that, and that's our future,” said Abdul-Samad.

Cady ended his speech on a high note, talking about the 150th anniversary of the historical Iowa case Clark vs. Board of School Directors. The case dealt with the issue of segregated schools at that time.

He says this case really made a difference and gives an important perspective to the value of the court system.