- Associated Press - Friday, September 19, 2014

ROCKWELL CITY, Iowa (AP) - A union representing correctional officers said Friday the discovery of hundreds of pills inside a prison was a “major security breach.”

AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan called on the Iowa Department of Corrections to release more information about the breach, accusing administrators of keeping key details from the public.

State officials announced Thursday that 300 to 400 capsules containing an unknown substance were discovered inside the North Central Correctional Facility in Rockwell City.

Homan said that cell phones and chargers were also discovered - a fact that department spokesman Fred Scaletta refused to confirm or deny. Homan said that phones were the “worst kind of contraband” because they allow inmates to communicate with people outside the prison.

Homan also asserted that several inmates there have tested positive for marijuana since the discovery, but that no marijuana had been found. Scaletta declined comment on that claim.

Scaletta confirmed Friday that some testing has been done on the pills, but refused to say what it found. He said additional testing is being done by the Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and that more information would be released next week.

Homan said he believes one or more members of the public were able to smuggle in the contraband “because of the lack of staffing and appropriate staff training.”

Scaletta said that prison officials “do the best they can with the resources they have” to manage the facility. He said that steps will be taken to prevent a similar breach from happening.

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