Despite Challenges, Iowa’s Prisons Request Status Quo Budget

Jerry-BartruffSheldon, Iowa — The head of the state department that operates Sheldon’s Residential Treatment Facility says his department can make do without an increase in funding in the next state budget.

However, Iowa Department of Corrections Director Jerry Bartruff says he is hoping the governor and lawmakers can find more money for the state’s prison programs.

Bartruff is seeking just over $380 million for the next fiscal year that begins in July. That’s the same amount the D-O-C was allocated last year. Bartruff said he would welcome additional funding to offset the expiration of some federal grant money and rising medical costs.

There are currently just over 8,200 inmates in Iowa’s prisons, which are staffed by 2,609 guards and other employees. Bartruff said Iowa’s low unemployment rate has added to the difficulty of finding qualified correctional officers.

Bartruff also wants more probation and parole officers in the state. There are more than 28,000 offenders in Iowa’s Community Based Corrections program. Just 1,151 employees oversee that program.

Bartruff was appointed Director of the Iowa Department of Corrections earlier this year. He replaced John Baldwin, who said he was retiring, but then became director of the Illinois Department of Corrections.

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