Ft. Madison prison on lockdown after attack on staff member

FORT MADISON, Iowa -- A staff member at the Iowa State Penitentiary was seriously injured after being attacked by an inmate on Wednesday, Oct. 18.

This is the second attack on a staff member at the prison in a week, following another attack that resulted in hospitalization on Oct. 15. Officials have said the two incidents are not related.

According to a release from the Iowa Department of Corrections, inmate Keith Piper struck the staff member multiple times with a weapon while he was being escorted from one location in the prison to another. Despite the injuries, the staff member, with assistance from others, was able to subdue Piper.

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Iowa Council 61 issued a statement that said the staff member was a correctional officer at the facility and accused Piper of having 10-inch shanks and stabbing the officer five times.

In their statement, AFSCME said that there was a "blatant disregard for security that must be immediately addressed within the Department of Corrections."

Click here to read the full statement. 

The injured staff member was transported initially to Fort Madison Community Hospital then transferred to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He was released from the hospital on Friday and is currently recovering at home.

"Our thoughts are with the two correctional officers who were the victims of the Department of Correction's inaction," said AFSCME's statement.

Piper, who is currently serving a 45-year sentence as a habitual offender, may face additional charges as a result of the incident, which remains under investigation.

The prison remains on lockdown/restricted movement and visiting for all offenders has been suspended indefinitely.

This is the third known attack on correctional staff in the region in October, including the attack on an East Moline Correctional Facility officer that prompted union members there to hold a press conference to draw attention to increasingly dangerous conditions.