New Iowa Women's Prison Almost Complete

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By Larry Burkum

MITCHELLVILLE, Iowa - Iowa's new women's correction facility is almost ready for inmates.

The new Mitchellville correctional facility is more than ten acres in size, and when complete, will house almost 900 inmates. The project cost almost $70 million.

The layout of the facility allows inmates to be outside more, as well as spend more time in outdoor learning centers. There are more than 200 security cameras in the facility, which also will be home to a hospice and mental health clinic.

"The women know they're still in prison, but we'll have more spaces for the classes we need to do and to deal with the mentally ill. Over 60% of our women are mentally ill, so we really need the staff and facilities to deal with the mentally ill, so that's one of the big advantages," said Patti Wachtendorf, warden of the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women.

The entire project is expected to be finished next year.

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