Inmates in Iowa’s prisons will face longer sentences if caught withweapons and drugs under a bill making its way through the legislature. The bill cleared the Iowa House this morning, and imposes penalties onpeople who pass “contraband” to the prisoners — and makes it a crime for aguard to look the other way when they know of weapons and drugs insideprison walls. Representative Rick Larkin, a democrat from Fort Madison, isa Counselor at the state penitentiary.Larkin has seen razor blades converted into knives and screwdrivers madeinto ice pick.Representative Dennis Parmenter, a democrat from Cambridge, doubtsprosecutors will be able to prove a case against the “bad apple” guards andprisoners caught with something that could be used as a weapon.The House made a minor change in the bill and the Senate’s expected to givethe measure final approval this week, sending it to the Governor. Representative Teresa Garman, a republican from Ames, expects it to becomelaw.The bill also allows officials to x-ray prison visitors.
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