Public Update: Warren County Jail Suspension

Public Update: Warren County Jail Suspension 

Published January 18, 2018.

On January 18, 2018, the Warren County Board of Supervisors were notified that the Iowa Department of Corrections, under its authority pursuant to Iowa Code 356.43, has ordered the facility to end its continued confinement of prisoners in the jail, effective February 2, 2018. 

The action being taken is the result of years of ongoing issues with the jail facility. The State of Iowa has charged the Iowa Department of Corrections with the yearly inspection of jails in order to ensure all jail facilities in Iowa meet a minimum level of compliance with health, safety, security, and sanitary conditions. This authority can be found in Iowa Code section 356. Under most circumstances, when a facility is found to be out of compliance, there are clear actions that can be taken by administration to correct the issue. However, as in this instance, occasionally there are such a number of violations that have persisted for such a period of time, that the department must exercise its duty to suspend the capability of a jail to house prisoners until corrective action can be taken. 

In order to ensure the public and news media have as much information as possible, several important documents are being made available via this digital medium. If there are additional questions, they may be directed towards the department's Communications Director at cord.overton@iowa.gov. 

The timeline of inspections/events that have led to this decision: 

WARREN COUNTY JAIL TIMELINE

2010:

50.4(4) Adequate water supply

50.14 Cleanliness and hygiene: vents, lights and walls in need of thorough cleaning.

Older facility that does not meet current needs.

 

2011:

50.14 Cleanliness and hygiene: vents, lights and walls in need of thorough cleaning.

Older facility that does not meet current needs.

 

2012:

50.4(4) Adequate water supply

50.14 Cleanliness and hygiene: vents, lights and walls in need of thorough cleaning.

Older facility that does not meet current needs.

 

2013:

50.4(4) Adequate water supply

50.14 Cleanliness and hygiene: vents, lights and walls in need of thorough cleaning.

50.7(7)/50.13 Over population/Admission and classification

Older facility that does not meet current needs.

 

2014:

50.4(4) Adequate water supply

50.4(5) Adequate lighting

50.14 Cleanliness and hygiene: vents, lights and walls in need of thorough cleaning.

50.7(7)/50.13 Over population/classification

Older facility that does not meet current needs. Food storage, vents, heat covers, spray foam insulation, rust stains on the walls; fingerprinting of the public in the secure areas of the jail.

 

2015:

50.4(4) Adequate water supply

50.14 Cleanliness and hygiene: vents, lights and walls in need of thorough cleaning.

50.4(8) Prisoner storage in the cells.

50.7(7)/50.13 Over population/Admission and classification

Older facility that does not meet current needs. Food storage, vents, heat covers, spray foam insulation, rust stains on the walls; fingerprinting of the public in the secure areas of the jail.

Mold Test

2 escape, one incident

Jail inspector requests corrective plan of action: no response from Board of Supervisors.

 

2016:

50.4(4) Adequate water supply

50.7(7)/50.13 Over population/Admission and classification

50.14 Cleanliness and hygiene: vents, lights and walls in need of thorough cleaning.

2 different mold test; sewer gas

Escape and suicide

6/22/16 Iowa State Sheriff’s and Deputies Association concur with DOC findings, action needed

6/28/16 Courts move out

Jail inspector again raises 2015 corrective plan of action: no response from Board of Supervisors.

Bond referendum for a new jail fails.

 

2017:

50.13 Admission and classification.

50.14 Cleanliness and Hygiene.

50.4   Physical plant: Heating and ventilation; Adequate water

50.9   Mattresses

Food storage, spray foam insulation, rust on walls and vents, health concerns, safety concerns, security concerns.

Jail Inspector visits with Board of Supervisors – no agreement on jail, but County wants to look for property for a new jail. County not scheduling a bond referendum for a new jail.

 

2018:

50.13 Admission and classification

50.14 Cleanliness and hygiene

50.4(3)/(4) Heating ventilation

50.4(7) Generator has not been tested for past approximately six(6) months

50.9(2) State Fire Marshal inspection expired September 2017, SFM inspected on January 4, 2018 citing Warren County for fourteen(14) life safety issues

50.9(6) Emergency battery back lights inoperable

Continued to find food storage in hallway, spray foam insulation, rust on walls and vents, mold

 

 

 

Relevant documents may be viewed by clicking on the respective link below:  

1) Final Jail Inspection Letter from IDOC Jail Inspector to Warren county BOS


2) Final Notice to Warren County to Suspend Prisoner Services in the County Jail


3) Iowa Fire Marshal's Notice of Noncompliance from January 4, 2018


4) The Letter of Notice that Warren County Jail is Out of Compliance from July 14, 2017


5) The Letter from the Iowa Sheriff's and Deputies Association Regarding Condition of the Jail

 

 

 

 

 

Printed from the Iowa Department of Corrections website on February 23, 2018 at 4:08pm.