"Thanks to the hard and smart work of staff, twenty-two local human rights commissions, and more than one hundred volunteers, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission had another very productive year, especially in complaint processing. We resolved more cases than we took in, which means further reductions in the backlog; and we set a new record in settlement agreement amounts, " says Don Grove, executive director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

For the fifth year in a row, the Commission resolved more cases than it received. In fiscal year 1998, from July 1 through June 30, 1998, the Commission docketed 2,188 new complaints and resolved 2,211. Seven years ago, the Commission had more than 600 cases in the backlog, waiting to be assigned to investigators. Today, that number is 40.

 FY 93 FY 94 FY 95 FY 96 FY 97 FY 98
Docketed 1826 2038 2274 2172 2171 2188
Resolved 1689 2087 2434 2298 2202 2211
Backlog 575 474 299 118 78 40

For the fourth year in a row, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission recorded more than one million dollars in annualized benefits. Annualized benefits represents the cash value of settlement agreements to persons who file discrimination complaints. During fiscal year 1998, the Commission facilitated voluntary settlement in 216 cases and recorded $1,963,300 in benefits, for an average settlement amount of $9,089.

 FY 93 FY 94 FY 95 FY 96 FY 97 FY 98
# Settled 146 127 233 291 193 216
Benefits $429,900 $634,000 $1,378,000 $1,825,000 $1,854,000 $1,963,300
Average $1,932 $3,154 $5,914 $6,271 $9,606 $9,089

The mission of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission is to eliminate discrimination in Iowa. Currently, the Commission fights discrimination five ways: (1) investigating and resolving complaints alleging discrimination, (2) educating the public on anti-discrimination law and on the value of diversity, (3) testing entities covered by the law to determine the nature and extent of discrimination in Iowa, (4) helping communities build diversity appreciation teams to identify and resolve discrimination and diversity issues locally, and (5) promoting the use of study circles on racism and race relations.

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