New leaders were appointed today for three of the state’s correctional facilities.
Iowa Department of Corrections Director Jerry Bartruff recommended William Sperfslage take over as Warden of the Anamosa State Penitentiary, where he got his start 36 years ago. “Bill started working for the Iowa Department of Corrections in 1979 as a correctional officer at the Anamosa State Penitentiary,” Bartruff said.
The Anamosa State Pen houses up to 1,000 of the state’s “high risk” offenders, many of whom committed violent crimes. Sperfslage has served as acting warden of the facility for 6 months following the retirement of John Fayram. “We did interview several folks, but Bill was the unanimous choice for the job,” Bartruff.
The Iowa Board of Corrections today also approved the appointment of Sheryl Dahm as Warden of the Clarinda Correctional Facility. She has spent more than two decades counseling prison inmates with substance abuse and mental health issues.
The Clarinda facility houses around 800 offenders. “Many of those offenders are what we would classify as offenders with special needs…primarily defined as persons with some significant mental health issues or intellectual disabilities,” Bartruff said. Dahm fills the vacancy created in Clarinda when Kris Weitzell was appointed Warden of the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility.
Another longtime employee of the Iowa Department of Corrections is now the Warden of the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility. Jay Nelson was appointed to that position today. “Jay began his work in corrections in 1984 as a correctional officer in Mount Pleasant,” Bartruff said.
Nelson has worked in the office of Offender Services since 2013. “He was housed at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center and Jay was in charge of the classification and transfer process for the Iowa Department of Corrections,” Bartruff said. Nelson is filling the vacancy created by the retirement of former Mount Pleasant Warden Ron Mullen.