DES MOINES, Iowa — Inmates from all nine of Iowa’s prisons have donated more than $11,000 to fundraisers supporting the families of two Anamosa State Penitentiary staff members killed while on duty in March, according to the Iowa Department of Corrections .
In March, two prisoners were charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and second-degree kidnapping after nurse Lorena Schulte and correctional officer Robert McFarland were killed during a failed escape attempt.
Iowa Department of Corrections spokesman Cord Overton said the department’s business managers added up donations from inmates made to memorial accounts established for the victims.
“Currently, more than $11,000 has been donated by the inmates through direct donations and fundraisers,” he told the Press-Citizen, via email. “Donations have been made from all nine prisons.”
n said incarcerated individuals often participate in fundraisers throughout the year for causes such as Meals from the Heartland and Habitat for Humanity.
The funding efforts show how much inmates were impacted by the killings, said Sue Hutchins, an advocate for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals in Iowa.
Hutchins is the founder of Living Beyond the Bars, a nonprofit that provides reentry services for formerly incarcerated individuals and offers emotional support for their relatives and friends.
She said she was in contact with several people serving life sentences who told her they were heartsick about the loss of Schulte and McFarland.