AFSCME Iowa Council 61 - Every Day. Everywhere. Making Iowa Better.

Understaffed Clarinda Correctional Facility on Lockdown Twice in Past Week

DES MOINES – AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan issued the following statement regarding the Friday evening assault on two correctional officers, among other incidents, at the Clarinda Correctional Facility:

“On Friday, August 26, 2016, two correctional officers at Clarinda Correctional Facility (CCF) were bit, kicked, and swung at by an inmate with a history of behavioral issues wielding an altered razor. Both officers had to be transported to the Clarinda Regional Hospital for treatment, after which they were both sent home from work. During this incident, the facility was placed on restricted movement (lockdown), but the inmates were released just three hours later.

“This was following another incident on Thursday morning, where more than a dozen inmates got into a fight, which was later determined to be gang-related. The fight took place in the gym, which was only staffed by one recreation specialist. Because CCF has eliminated controlled movement, where staff were able to direct inmates when to move about the facility, it took over an hour just to locate and identify the inmates involved in the fight. During this time, the facility was placed on restricted movement for only six hours and 17 inmates were placed in administrative segregation for their involvement in the fight. This incident magnified the staffing crisis at hand due to already-limited staff having to escort inmates and move property.

“Ultimately, Clarinda Correctional Facility, just like all of our correctional facilities in the state, is dangerously understaffed and officers’ lives are being put at risk. These recent events are further proof of that. In addition, the policies of the Iowa Department of Corrections (IDOC) and CCF have fostered an inmate environment of disrespect for authority, disruptive behavior, and an entitlement to not follow procedures put in place to provide a safe and secure environment. What will it take for the IDOC to take the concerns of our correctional officers seriously?”

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