AFSCME Iowa Council 61 calls for Director Baldwin's Resignation PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Brian Jennings   
Tuesday, 20 August 2013 15:04
AFSCME IOWA: CLARINDA INMATES' ESCAPE SYMPTOMATIC OF DIRECTOR BALDWIN'S BROKEN INMATE CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM

DES MOINES – AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan issued the following statement regarding the escape of Rodney Eugene Long from Clarinda Correctional Facility on Friday:

“First, I would like to extend the thoughts and prayers of AFSCME Iowa Council 61 members to Taylor County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Wyckoff and his family. Deputy Wyckoff, who was shot by Rodney Long on Sunday, is a public employee who puts his life on the line to protect the public. We wish him a speedy recovery.

“This morning Inmate Long was shot and killed by one of the residents of a home in rural Bedford. He was killed after holding hostage the couple who lived there.

“The shooting of Deputy Wyckoff, the danger law enforcement and the public we exposed to, and the death of inmate Long are a direct result of the Director of Corrections and the Governor’s ill-thought out policies and procedures. The understaffing of the state institutions is at a critical stage and needs to be corrected

“It is time for Director John Baldwin to resign and for the Governor to work with legislators to fix the staffing issues in our correctional system.

“Friday’s escape is a symptom of Director Baldwin and the Branstad Administration’s lack of common sense staffing and inmate classification policies. Director Baldwin has refused to acknowledge the severe understaffing in the State of Iowa’s correctional system. Instead, he has reconfigured the inmate classification system to quickly and recklessly push more inmates towards less secure settings or towards parole.

“Rodney Long, a repeat offender and an offender that had his probation revoked, was transferred from a medium security facility to a minimum security live out facility after only a short period of time. The combination of offenders being pushed into lower security facilities and correctional understaffing is a dangerous combination.

“The Department is pushing to lower the prison population when it is not safe to do so. In addition to pushing inmates into lower security correctional facilities, the Department is pushing inmates to work release and parole in an unsafe manner. This has resulted in numerous inmates walking away from community based corrections facilities. Examples of this include Eric Allen Shaffer (Burlington Work Release Facility on 8/14/2013), John Joseph Rosales Brown (Larry Nelson Work Release Center in Cedar Rapids on 8/3/2013), Michael E. Hannum (Council Bluffs work release facility on 8/3/2013), Osvaldo Guerra Jr. (Fort Des Moines work release facility on 4/2/2013), Marco Johnson (Waterloo work-release center on 3/20/2013), Roger Romero Clayton (Davenport halfway house on 2/1/2013; Mr. Clayton also escaped from a halfway house in 2012 as well), and Corey Dewitt (Fort Des Moines work release facility on 12/4/2012).

“The situation in Iowa’s correctional system is critical and must be dealt with immediately.”

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