ANAMOSA, Iowa — A correctional officer was handing out medication to inmates Saturday morning when the DOC said an inmate attacked the officer and placed her in a chokehold.
In a release, the DOC said the officer was able to use "personal safety defensive techniques" until other staff members arrived to help. Staff took the inmate under control.
The attacked officer was taken to a hospital and has since been released. She has bruising from the attack. The DOC said the inmate was not seriously injured.
AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan released a statement in response to Saturday's attack and in that said an inmate stepped in to help the officer.
Homan said, "Just one month after two Iowans lost their lives at the Anamosa State Penitentiary, we have another example of the short staffing in our prisons. I am grateful that this officer is safe, but I shudder to think what would have happened if this inmate hadn't stepped in to help."
Homan continued his statement with a theme he touted earlier this month on the steps of the Iowa Statehouse, "Republican lawmakers and the Governor need to wake up and recognize that we must not only fully staff the positions currently vacant at the Department of Corrections, but increase the number of officers and staff in our prisons."
On March 23, the DOC said two inmates while trying to escape attacked and killed a nurse, 50-year-old Lorena Schulte, and a correctional officer, 46-year-old Robert McFarland.
Two weeks later, Homan said the "attack should have never happened" and said better staffing could have prevented Schulte and McFarland's deaths.
Iowa's top Democrats joined Homan outside the Iowa Statehouse that day in demanding Iowa Republicans and Governor Kim Reynolds approve more funding for Iowa prisons.
House Republicans, however, did propose the largest funding increase for the DOC in almost a decade.
They've proposed a $20 million increase in funding for the department. That's the largest single-year increase since 2012.