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Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning Advisory Council

Key Eyewitness Identification & Interrogation Practices

The Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning Advisory Council (Council) encourages all law enforcement agencies to consider adopting written policies surrounding evidence-based eyewitness identification procedures and interrogation practices. While many law enforcement agencies may have these best practice policies in place, the Council recommends all agencies consider written policies to ensure consistent and accountable procedures and practices.  

Research demonstrates that misidentification is the leading contributing factor to overturned wrongful convictions.  This not only impacts the wrongfully convicted, but poses a threat to public safety as the real perpetrator may be free to harm others.  

Nationally, 18 states have adopted eyewitness and interrogation reforms; however, Iowa is not one of them.  To ensure fair administration of justice throughout our state, it is the Council’s hope that law enforcement agencies will adopt consistent, written policies that include the ‘four core objectives’ to improve accuracy in eyewitness identifications—Blind/blinded administration, Using proper non-suspect fillers, Providing witness instructions, and Eliciting witness confidence statements.  

A copy of the model policies from the International Association of Chiefs of Police can be found here:

Recent Council Meetings

Council/Board Members

Thomas Walton, Chair

Nyemaster, Goode, West, Hansell & O'Brien, P.C.


Mardi Allen

Dickinson County

Spirit Lake

Tiffany Allison

Soaring Hearts Foundation

Des Moines

Kim Cheeks

Iowa Department of Human Rights

Office on the Status of African Americans

Des Moines

DeAnn Decker

Iowa Department of Public Health

Division of Behavioral Health

Des Moines

Thomas Ferguson

Prosecuting Attorneys Training Coordinator

Office of Attorney General

Des Moines

Mary Kovacevich

Polk County Administration

Des Moines

Michelle Leonard

Dallas Center Police Department

Dallas Center

Amber Markham

Iowa Department of Public Safety

Des Moines

Andrea Muelhaupt

Iowa Board of Parole

Des Moines

Beth Skinner

Department of Corrections

Des Moines

Sherri Soich

Iowa Attorney General's Office

Des Moines

Kurt Swaim

State Public Defender's Office

Des Moines

Sheriff Tony Thompson

Iowa State Sheriffs' & Deputies' Association


Doug Wolfe

Iowa Department of Human Services

Des Moines

Dale Woolery

Governor's Office on Drug Control Policy

Des Moines

Ex-officio members:

Rep. Chip Baltimore

Iowa House - District 47


Hon. Romonda Belcher

Fifth Judicial District

Des Moines

Hon. Jeffrey Neary

Third Judicial District

Sioux City

Sen. Rich Taylor

Iowa Senate - District 42
Mount Pleasant

Rep. Mary Lynn Wolfe

Iowa House - District 98


Sen. Brad Zaun

Iowa Senate - District 20