FM Prison Transfer Still On-Hold

The man who’ll oversee operations of the new Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison says it’s still not quite ready to house inmates.


(Picture is from a tour of the new facility last year)

Warden Nick Ludwick says crews are still trying to fix a malfunctioning geothermal system in the new facility. The problem was first noticed back in late April. Ludwick says the new prison includes four housing units, plus many other large buildings, so it’s taking a long time to complete the repairs.

In October of last year, reporters were given a tour of the new Iowa State Penitentiary. At the time, corrections officials said inmates would be transferred into the new facility in March of this year. Ludwick admits he’s a bit frustrated, but is trying to take the setback in stride.

Around 550 of the state’s toughest criminals are housed in the old Iowa State Pen, originally built in 1839. The new $130 million prison has room for 800 inmates. Ludwick said it remains unclear how much more is being spent on the heating and cooling system repairs.