AFSCME leader says officials failed to reveal ‘scope’ of prison fight

The head of the union that represents a majority of state workers is accusing the Iowa Department of Corrections of “downplaying” what he calls a “violent uprising” at the Iowa State Penitentiary.

AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan is responding to an agency news release about the incident last Saturday, July 1.

“They’re basically trying to cover up that we had, for all intents and purposes, a riot inside the maximum security prison in Fort Madison,” Homan told Radio Iowa.

The agency’s news release, issued Saturday afternoon, indicated the incident involved “multiple offenders” and “staff responded swiftly and gained immediate control of the situation.” Homan said he’s been told the racially-motivated fight in the prison yard involved 72 inmates, with some using tennis rackets as weapons.

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