Fort Madison's brand-new prison is almost complete

New Fort Madison prison

The new Iowa State Penitentiary is almost ready to be occupied. The 44 acre prison is currently in the last stages of construction.

"Just like you and I would be going to a new house, there's just a point that you want it to be over with and just want it to happen to see what it'll be like,â?? Mark Roberts, Deputy Warden for the Iowa State Penitentiary, said.

Within the next couple of months, the prison will be fully functioning.

In the meantime, prison officials will continue to iron out the kinks.

Staff members are learning new policies and procedures for the much larger prison.

They are also preparing for the most important part of the entire process. That would be the movement of more than 600 inmates. The new prison holds up to 800 prisoners.

There will not be a public announcement about the move for security reasons.

"We'll bring them up in security transports and they will come based on what their custody level is and what their risk is, its always in our best interest when we have to keep the community safe," Roberts explained.

He also says the new prison is designed with enhanced safety to keep prison staff secure.

"This site helps tremendously with staff and offender safety, the visibility within this institution is so much better than what it is in our current operation,â?? Roberts said.

He goes on to say, everyone is just ready, just ready to move.