New Iowa prison nearly ready for prisoners

Iowa's new maximum-security prison in Fort Madison is nearly ready to house prisoners.

The Burlington Hawk Eye

reports prison officials expect to move into the new facility sometime in the next few weeks once the State Fire Marshal approves.

But Rebecca Bowker with the penitentiary in Fort Madison says the moving date won't be announced ahead of time for security reasons.

The new $132 million prison was built about a mile north of the current Iowa State Penitentiary. It has 800 beds, which 250 more than the current facility.

The current Iowa State Penitentiary was built in 1839 and is the oldest operating prison west of the Mississippi River.