WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Governor Says Prison Belongs In Fort Madison

West Burlington, IA – Iowa's Governor says the Fort Madison Penitentiary should remain in the city. A special committee, formed by Governor Tom Vilsack, is looking into the future of the maximum security prison. The panel was formed after 2 inmates escaped in November from the 165-year-old prison. The committee is considering 3 options: building a new prison, repairing the current facility, or simply leaving the sit along. Governor Vilsack says that no matter what the decision, the maximum security prison should remain in Fort Madison. It's unclear when the panel will make a recommendation on the future of the prison in Fort Madison. Vilsack says he must review the report before weighing in on what will be the best option for the state. A brand new prison could cost more than $80,000,000 while repairs could run as high as $30,000,000.