RELEASE: Short Staffing Leads to More Staff Assaults at IMCC

For Immediate Release
March 1, 2018
Mazie Stilwell, Communications Specialist
(515) 246-2637


DES MOINES - AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan issued the following statement in response to yet another correctional officer and nurse being attacked by an inmate at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center (IMCC):

"Last night, an inmate in a Mental Health Unit at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center (IMCC) in Coralville attacked both a correctional officer and a nurse. The inmate became irate and was instructed by the officer to return to his cell. He then slammed the correctional officer into a wall. The officer fell to the ground while the inmate repeatedly punched the officer in the head. Due to unsafe staffing levels, there were no officers nearby to stop the attack. Two inmates intervened by pulling their fellow inmate off of the officer. When a nurse approached the inmate and told him she was there to help him, he kicked her in the chest.

"We are now at a point where staffing levels are so low that we are counting on inmates to intervene in attacks against correctional officers and other staff. The two staff members involved in this incident were lucky to escape with only minor injuries, though the officer is currently being treated at a local hospital for a possible concussion.

"Governor Reynolds and legislative Republicans who have mismanaged our state's budget and continually underfunded and even cut funding mid-year to the Department of Corrections have to answer for this. The state of our corrections system is irresponsible and downright unacceptable."

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 61 represents 40,000 public employees in Iowa including law enforcement and correctional officers, firefighters, mental health workers, professional school staff, emergency responders, and many other workers. AFSCME Council 61 also represents home health care and child care providers across the state and private sector workers at Prairie Meadows, Palmer College of Chiropractic, Des Moines University, and ABM (Marshalltown).