Another Officer Attacked At Anamosa State Penitentiary
Another state correctional officer was attacked over the weekend at the Anamosa State Penitentiary. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that the attack happened at around 7:22 a.m. on Saturday morning.
A female officer was reportedly handing out medication on a cell block when an inmate put the officer in a chokehold. Department of Corrections officials say that the officer was able to "use personal safety defensive techniques until additional staff were able to respond and assist." The Gazette reports that the injured officers was taken by department vehicle to a hospital. She was treated for bruises and released.
This weekends attack comes about one month after a deadly attack in the prison which left two officers dead. Inmates Michael Dutcher and Thomas Woodard both face murder, kidnapping, and attempted murder charges after allegedly hitting Officer Robert McFarland and nurse Lorena Schulte, in the head with hammers, killing both of them. The Gazette reports that they also took another guard hostage briefly in an incident now being described as a failed escape attempt.
On Friday, a large group of lawmakers visited and toured the Anamosa penitentiary. They talked with employees inside and saw what they later would describe as crowded conditions. Lawmakers said that they were show areas where the number of inmates vastly outnumbered the number of guards and staff.
The Gazette reports that the GOP led Iowa Legislature is currently debating a 2022 state budget that calls for increasing corrections funding, but Democrats say the amounts being proposed fall far short of the $34 million needed to fill more than 500 vacant jobs and update outdated radio and other technologies.