RELEASE: Inaction by Management Leads to Rampant Behavior Issues at Clarinda Correctional Facility


For Immediate Release

October 31, 2018

Contact: Mazie Stilwell, Communications Specialist

(515) 246-2637 | [email protected]



DES MOINES – AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan issued the following statement in response to a series of escalating incidents at the Clarinda Correctional Facility:

“On Monday evening, an inmate attacked a correctional officer with closed-fist punches resulting in lacerations, severe bruising, and a broken nose. The officer was able to use defensive moves to attempt to stop the assault while retrieving his pepper spray and calling for help on his radio. During the incident, other inmates on the same housing unit failed to follow staff directives to return to their cells. Inmates in surrounding housing units were also disruptive by yelling at staff, cheering the assault, and refusing directives to return to their cells. One inmate, who was being overly disruptive, pulled away from an officer attempting to restrain him and grabbed the officer by the genitals. 

“On Wednesday, October 24th, an inmate under the influence of both K2 and hooch attempted to assault an officer on the same unit as Monday’s assault. This inmate had to be pepper sprayed and restrained in order to stop the attempted assault. 

“The issue of inmates outright refusing staff directives and acting out due to the increased presence of K2 and hooch are only getting worse. This is directly tied to CCF Administration’s unwillingness to support staff or act when these issues are brought to their attention. The Department of Corrections’ blatant disregard for inmate behavior and weakening of policies have created a serious safety and security risk for all staff. Failed reentry programs focus solely on getting inmates out of the correctional system, rather than addressing their behavior issues while incarcerated. The Department of Corrections has implemented road blocks for staff to hold inmates accountable so that their infractions do not appear on their records, thus allowing the Parole Board to release them sooner. 

“The hardworking staff within the Clarinda Correctional Facility, and all of our state’s correctional facilities, deserve better workplace protections and adequate staffing levels to keep them safe on an already dangerous job. Unfortunately, until the Department of Corrections and facility administration take the concerns of staff seriously, these issues will only continue to escalate in severity.” 


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).