ANAMOSA, Iowa (KCAU) – A correctional officer at the Anamosa State Penitentiary was assaulted by an inmate early Saturday morning.
The Iowa Department of Corrections said at about 7:22 a.m., an officer was handing out medications to inmates on a cellblock when an inmate unexpectedly starting assaulting her.
Officials reported that the inmate put her in a chokehold, but she used personal safety defensive techniques until more staff members in the area responded and assisted in taking control of the attacking inmate.
The correctional officer was taken to a local hospital for medical review and has since been released. Authorities said she only suffered bruising from the assault, and the inmate was not seriously injured.
The state’s department of corrections said the incident remains under investigation.
AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan issued the following statement after Saturday’s assault.
“Just one month after two Iowans lost their lives at the Anamosa State Penitentiary, we have another example of the short staffing in our prisons. I am grateful that this officer is safe, but I shudder to think what would have happened if this inmate hadn’t stepped in to help. How many more examples do we need of the unsafe environment in our prisons? Republican lawmakers and the Governor need to wake up and recognize that we must not only fully staff the positions currently vacant at the Department of Corrections, but increase the number of officers and staff in our prisons. That is the only way to ensure the safety of those who work in the facilities. They must act now to ensure this never happens again.”Danny Homan, AFSCME Council 61 President
On Friday, Iowa lawmakers toured the prison over the concerns of what the facility needs in order to stop tragic events, such as the killings of a nurse and a correction officer during an attempted escape March 23.