DES MOINES, Iowa — Tiffany Allison has dreaded Monday, July 22, 2019 for years. The founder of Soaring Hearts, a nonprofit for victims of violent crime, Allison is a victim herself.
“He took me hostage in my home. He beat me for four and a half hours using his hands knees and feet,” Allison said when speaking with Channel 13 before one of her offender’s multiple parole hearings back in December of 2018.
Channel 13 has covered her story for years. Allison was attacked by Scotty Parks in 2009. For that crime, he was sentenced to two and a half years but was released after 10 months. A year later, Parks did it again, attacking Jill Saunders who suffered severe bite marks on her face.
For that crime, he was sentenced to 15 years in jail. But Monday, after a little over six years, he’s being released early again. July 22, 2019 he gets to walk as a free man.
“For me and every other victim that he’s assaulted, that’s not enough time,” Allison said. “The community is not safe with him being released and we’ve seen that. He has seven victims under his belt that we’re aware of. I don’t know what rehabilitation could be done on this subsequent offense that hadn’t been done before that could change Mr. Parks’ behavior.”
Iowa’s current policy allows inmates early release for good behavior. It’s one of the most generous in the nation. Allison says offenders could get nearly one and a half days off for every day served.
That’s exactly what happened to Parks despite being a habitual offender. He was even up for parole four different times before this early release.
Allison is trying to change that. For years she’s been pushing the Violent Habitual Offender Bill that would require those who commit a third felony to serve at least 80 percent of their sentence.
“It’s just a difficult situation,” Allison said. “I think Iowa as a state, and a community, we need to do better.”
But until Allison can convince legislators to take on this bill, she and the many other victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault will have to prepare for days like Monday.
“It’s a lifelong safety plan. I would be lying to you if I didn’t feel like things were spinning out of my own life a little bit,” Allison said. “Trying to make sure that I’ve taken all the proper measures to be safe upon his release and just trying to keep anxiety to a minimum and stress to a minimum. It’s a challenge.”
Parks’ victims believe he will be staying in the Des Moines area. Allison says she is also lobbying this next legislative session for a Lethality Assessment GPS bill that is supposed to protect a domestic victim from an offender that’s likely to escalate to homicide. Thirty-three states already have legislation like this.
“We’re dealing with real-life situations that are truly life or death, unfortunately, and staying safe is a huge factor. Not really knowing how those people are going to come out and what their motives will be, what they do, how they live their life it’s very scary,” Allison said.