The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

June 10, 2009

Halfway house expands, makes other changes

OTTUMWA — There are a lot of changes under way for the Ottumwa Residential Facility, a halfway house operated by Iowa’s Department of Corrections.

The biggest change is expansion of the facility. Budget woes at the state level have prompted many states to reconsider their approach to handling convicted criminals, especially those who did not commit violent offenses. Maintaining large prison populations is expensive, so states are looking at ways to bring people out of prison and still maintain public safety.

Facilities like the one in Ottumwa fit that goal. Supervision remains intensive, but the people at the Ottumwa facility maintain jobs and are eased back into society. That also helps reduce the number of offenders who wind up back in prison.

Expanding the number of beds in Ottumwa is not a new idea. The first discussions took place years ago. The Eighth Judicial District’s Department of Correctional Services Board met in Fairfield Wednesday to discuss making that expansion reality.

Ottumwa’s facility was one of four in Iowa at the top of the list for possible expansion. The architect and engineer were selected last year, but things have been fairly quiet since then. That is changing.

“Our next step is next Wednesday … going to West Des Moines to touch base with the Department of Corrections,” said Daniel Fell, the district’s director.

He expects things to move quickly in the upcoming months. Financing for the expansion is in place, and the facility will remain operating while the expansion proceeds. The complications caused by normal operations and the construction work are a big reason the department went ahead and filled critical roles in Ottumwa despite a statewide budget crunch.

“It’s an exciting time. The Department of Corrections has told us that now that the ball is rolling they want to keep it rolling,” Fell said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Ups and downs OTTUMWA — Iowa's governor and his lieutenant seemed thrilled with part of the employment news Friday. Gov. Terry Branstad's Twitter page said: "BREAKING: Iowa's employment reaches all-time high of 1,615,200." Iowa Workforce Development confirms the n

    April 18, 2014

  • 15-minutes.png A change at Evans

    OTTUMWA — You can get kids to memorize facts. But teaching them to think can take more time. Educational leaders told the Ottumwa school board that the school year that begins 2014 will shift Evans Middle School students from 45-minute periods to 60-

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Those who came before OTTUMWA — There is so much information on researching genealogy, beginners may not know where to start. But experts and knowledgeable amateurs will offer help as they gather for a free Family History Fair to share which websites are worthwhile and wh

    April 18, 2014

  • 0419 OTT Tree planting color photo -T -M -L Young Ottumwans show their green thumbs OTTUMWA — Several of Ottumwa’s cemeteries and parks were recipients of new trees this week as Ottumwa High School students and Eagle Scouts dedicated their time to planting dozens of trees around the city. Students from the OHS JROTC class were at Ot

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • 0419 OTT Prayer Walk 2 bw photo -L -M -T On a journey OTTUMWA — The seven blocks through the center of Ottumwa took more than an hour and a half to walk as 25 people prayed and read Scripture to reflect on the events of Good Friday. Led by the Ottumwa Area Fellowship of Pastors, the walk began at First

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0419 OTT drought map -L -T -M Drought weakens grip on Iowa OTTUMWA — Last weekend saw the first significant rains in quite some time for the Ottumwa area. How long? The last day with at least a half-inch of rain was back on Nov. 20. It was a welcome rain, arriving after the ground had thawed. That allowed at

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Eugene Clark STOCKPORT — Eugene Morris Clark, 90, of Stockport, died at 5:30 p.m. April 17, 2014, at Good Samaritan Health and Rehabilitation Center, Ottumwa. Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Spencer Cemetery northeast of Stockport; Pastor Richard

    April 18, 2014

  • Civil War Round Table visited by baseball historian OTTUMWA — The Civil War Round Table was treated to a special guest Thursday night and a presentation about how baseball during the Civil War era helped shape Iowa as we know it. John Liepa, former history and political science professor at Des Moines

    April 18, 2014

  • Three-day forecast Today ... Sunny, with a high near 76. Breezy, with a southeast wind 10 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Tonight ... Partly cloudy, with a low around 53. Breezy, with a south wind 9 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Sunday ... Partly su

    April 18, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Tree City U.S.A. logo Ottumwa awarded as Tree City U.S.A. again OTTUMWA — Having big, beautiful trees throughout a community can help spruce up a city and make it more attractive to visitors. Ottumwa has shown a dedication to making the community more green and inviting, and the efforts have been recognized by th

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition