Officials in the Iowa Department of Corrections have shifted money legislators set aside for staff to cover other expenses.
The Legislative Services Agency was notified of the spending shift last week. About $275,000 to pay staff at the Fort Dodge prison wasn’t spent in the past 12 months.
Closing the Mental Health Institutes in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant a year ago caused problems in the prison system’s budget as well. Prison staff work on the campuses in those two communities, so the Department of Corrections notified legislators they had shifted $1.2 million to cover those salaries.
In addition, the state prison in Rockwell City got $275,000 to cover a budget hit after two local companies quit hiring inmates and paying the prison for that labor.
About $325,000 of “reallocated” money in the state prison system’s budget went to counties. It covered the cost of temporarily holding state prisoners in county jails for parole violations.
About $235,000 was used to cover operations at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center. Officials say they had to pay more overtime to staff who took inmates to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for medical care, plus prescription drug costs for inmates were higher than anticipated.