AMOS Launches Court Watchers Program in Iowa

"A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy (AMOS) has successfully gotten a Court Watcher program off the ground in Polk County....Like similar programs around the country, the goal is to witness the criminal justice system in action. The presence of an outsider in a courtroom signals to judges, prosecutors and others that the community cares about how its government is treating citizens when they find themselves in trouble with the law."

30 AMOS leaders "attended the first court watcher training Des Moines earlier this month. Another 30 are scheduled to go through training soon. The Rev. Denny Coon, pastor of Walnut Hills United Methodist Church in Urbandale, said his first experience as an observer was enlightening but somewhat troubling...."

Court Watch Programs Puts Citizen Eyes on Court, Des Moines Register

Iowa Court Watchers Help Keep Eye on Justice, Des Moines Register