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Synthetic drugs inside Iowa prison prompt security changes

The prison that houses Iowa's most dangerous offenders is tightening security after an infiltration of synthetic drugs that a union is calling the worst in its history. (MGN Online)

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) - The prison that houses Iowa's most dangerous offenders is tightening security after an infiltration of synthetic drugs that a union is calling the worst in its history.

The Iowa Department of Corrections said Monday that the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison has changed procedures related to inmate mail and visiting to prevent contraband from getting inside.

A union representing correctional officers said 12 inmates have been linked to drugs such as K2 in recent days. AFSCME Council 61 warned that the drug was creating a dangerous situation for staff and inmates, some of whom were combative and suffered serious health effects after nearly overdosing.

The department said prison staff "identified the presence of contraband drugs" and are taking appropriate steps to address the situation. Inmates who have been found to use or possess drugs are facing disciplinary action.

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