Expanded women's prison proposed for Council Bluffs - Quad-Cities Online: Iowa

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Expanded women's prison proposed for Council Bluffs

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Posted: Friday, August 28, 1998 1:00 am

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) -- State officials have expanded a proposal for a Council Bluffs halfway house that would help women ease back into everyday life after having problems with the law.

``They changed it twice,'' said Kent Ellithorpe, district corrections department director. ``Now, it's up to 50 beds. It would be a $1.9 million building, and would bring 30 to 40 jobs to Council Bluffs.''

The original plan included a new 30-bed building to replace an existing facility that only has seven beds designated for women.

Ellithorpe said the proposal will be presented to the Iowa Board of Corrections on Sept. 11.

``Hopefully, we might get some feel for if they're going to support that,'' he said. ``If they do, it goes on to the Department of Management. They could grant the funding.''

The women allowed to stay at the home would include those released from prison, but need time to prepare for society; women ordered by the court to stay there before probation; or women who had not been sent to prison but violated probation.

Residential Correctional Facility Manager Robert Schroder said there is a growing need for the new building.

``We're trying to address the number of women coming from the institution or ordered here from court,'' Schroder said. ``There are 12 women on a waiting list right now, and our shortest program normally is a 90-day program. It just keeps backing up.''

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