Four inmates are hospitalized after a fight involving knives at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison. Iowa Department of Corrections spokesperson Fred Scaletta calls the incident “isolated but serious.” It’s unclear exactly what happened, but it occurred just before the noon hour.
“We came across four inmates who had some stabbing injuries and they’ve all been transported to a local hospital for treatment,” Scaletta told Radio Iowa. “So, we’re not able to really get into asking questions. We’re still trying to sort things out. We’re not really sure what happened.”
The names of the injured prisoners have not been released. Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. Scaletta says no prison employees were hurt and they may not have seen the fight. “It’s my understanding that they discovered it, so I believe it happened at a time when staff weren’t visibly watching,” Scaletta said. “It did not happen in an area that’s clearly visible by staff.”
The Iowa State Penitentiary complex houses nearly 1,000 inmates – more than half of which are considered Iowa’s most dangerous criminals.