A 30-page Iowa Department of Corrections Report publicly reveals for the first time a third inmate had planned to join two other prisoners who escaped in November from the state’s maximum security prison in Fort Madison. State Senator Gene Fraise, a Democrat from Fort Madison, sits on the legislative committee that drafts the prison’s budget and he was privately briefed by prison officials about that third man who had planned to break-out. “I knew that from day one, and he chickened out,” Fraise says of the third inmate who had been part of the planned break-out.
Fraise says the inmate confessed to prison officials after the other two were long gone. “I’m sure he’s in protective custody right now because I don’t think snitches have a very good life inside the facility,” Fraise says. There’s nothing in the department’s report on the prison break that surprises Fraise. “Everything they had in there I knew about, the sequences of things, why it happened, how it happened,” Fraise says. “The report mirrors what I knew shortly after it all happened.”
Fraise doesn’t expect any specific action from lawmakers in response to the agency’s report. Fraise says legislators will consider several prison-related issues, though, such as what is the appropriate number of prison guards for each state prison and whether the state should build a new, maximum-security prison.