OSHA warned problems at Iowa prison months before attack

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 10:01 PM CDT
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ANAMOSA, Iowa (WOWT) - Last August, a state agency warned the Iowa Dept. of Corrections of multiple deficiencies within Anamosa State Penitentiary.

That warning came eight months before the murder of a corrections officer and a prison nurse.

The department received citations from Iowa OSHA for inadequate communications equipment and not enough staff to respond to emergency situations. Along with a needed radio system to help staff communicate within the prison.

Both concerns were raised in August 2020.

OSHA said those radios caused false alarms, dropped transmissions during radio calls, and didn’t locate radios showing the alarm. They also say because of these faults, the response from the staff was inadequate.

“I want to keep bringing up the issue until correctional staff can go to work and feel safe and feel like they can go home at the end of the night, and right now they don’t feel that way,” said Danny Homan, AFSCME Council 61 President.

The Dept. of Corrections says they will be contesting two Iowa OSHA citations issued to Anamosa State Penitentiary and IMCC in Coralville.

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