Union leader blames underfunding for Iowa prison killings

Des Moines, Ia (AP) — The leader of the union representing Iowa prison workers said state political leaders and Iowa Department of Corrections officials are to blame for the death of two Anamosa State Prison workers two weeks ago because state prisons have been underfunded and understaffed for years.

Danny Homan, local council president of the AFSCME union says grossly inadequate staffing led to the deaths of Correctional Officer Robert McFarland and Nurse Lorena Schulte. They died on March 23 in a hammer attack by two inmates plotting an escape.

A corrections spokesman says changes are underway to make the prison more secure. House Speaker Pat Grassley says the proposed budget for next year provides the most funding for state corrections in a decade.