Public Safety

New warden with 17 years experience appointed to Coralville prison

Former warden retired during investigation into COVID-19 guidelines not being followed

The Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville. (The Gazette)
The Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville. (The Gazette)

CORALVILLE — The Iowa Board of Corrections voted unanimously Friday to support the appointment of a deputy warden with over 17 years experience in corrections as the next warden of the Iowa Medical and Classification Center.

The appointment of Mike Heinricy, 41, of Maquoketa, was recommended to the board by a department hiring committee, which started its search in May following the abrupt retirement of James McKinney, who had led the Coralville prison since 2015.

McKinney, who worked 27 years in corrections, retired amid an investigation into concerns that COVID-19 guidelines were not being followed, according to documents obtained by The Gazette last month.

Heinricy has served as the deputy warden of the medium security prison since May. Before coming to Coralville, he was the deputy warden at the Anamosa State Penitentiary from May 2016 to April of this year.

His 17-year career in corrections started at the Anamosa prison as a correctional officer in 2002, according to a news release. Throughout his career, he has been an officer, counselor, unit manager and deputy warden.

“IMCC is probably our most complex prison in the entire system,” Iowa Corrections Director Beth Skinner said in a statement on Heinricy’s appointment. “The team that works there is extremely dedicated to their job, and they deserve a leader that will be dedicated to helping them succeed.”

This prison not only houses inmates but also serves as the admissions center for all defendants across Iowa convicted and sentenced to serve terms in this prison, as well as the other eight prisons across the state.

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Cord Overton, communications director for corrections department, said there were 11 applicants who applied for the position.

Randy Gibbs, warden of Iowa State Penitentiary, served as interim warden after McKinney left.

Heinricy starts his new position on Monday.

Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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