U.S. Attorney Don Nickerson has had this startling experience more than once:
"I go and talk to kids in classes and I ask kids to hold up their hands and indicate how many of them think that they are going to be entangled with the criminal justice system," Nickerson says. "And more times than not you get 20 or 30 kids out of a class of 40 or 50. When the prospect of being in a criminal justice system is that entrenched in a culture, it takes some rather dramatic interventions."
And that's where Jerald Brantley comes in. Brantley runs Spectrum Resources, a non-profit job training and life-facilitating company that deals in restoration, both of the houses it reconstructs and of the lives it helps to get on track. Iowa Public Television's Living in Iowa this week goes inside Spectrum to learn how, since 1995, it has helped nearly 200 men and women toward a better life, through their training in construction and heavy machine operation and in their instruction on what it means to have a job.
This episode of Living in Iowa airs at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, March 30, and again at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 1, on all Iowa Public Television stations.
Read the rest of this story in the 3/27 Pilot Tribune.