Iowa closing mental health facility for prisoners

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Corrections Department intends to close the state-of-the art prison mental health facility that sits on the grounds of the old state prison at Fort Madison.

The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/WfFBFL) that the transfer of prisoners from the 200-bed facility will begin this spring. Most of them will go to prison mental health units in Clarinda and Coralville.

The state spent $26 million on the Fort Madison facility 10 years ago.

State Corrections Director John Baldwin told The Register that closing the facility is part of an efficiency and security initiative to close the entire campus of the old Fort Madison prison. A new, 800-bed, maximum-security prison is expected to open about a mile north of the old prison in January 2014.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

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