Union Head Demands Freeze on Prisoner Transfers, Admissions to Stem Coronavirus


The union that represents employees at Iowa correctional institutions is calling for the system to lock down for at least four weeks to stem the spread of COVID-19.

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 61 held a news conference alongside state Sen. Rich Taylor (D-Mount Pleasant) and state Rep. Wes Breckenridge (D-Newton) Monday, a week after the first death of a state corrections officer due to the pandemic. As of Tuesday, the state has reported nine inmate deaths related to COVID-19.

Those deaths and ongoing transmission of the disease in prisons, halfway houses and other facilities can be attributed to inaction by the state Department of Corrections, said Danny Homan, president of AFSCME Council 61.

Iowa’s largest union for public employees wants the Department of Corrections to stop accepting new inmates, and stop transferring inmates between and within facilities, Homan said.


By: William MorrisPublished: Desmoines Register

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