Apprehension of Minimum Live-Out Walkaway

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(from the Iowa Department of Corrections)
DES MOINES – Inmate Debra Lee Hicks, who had absconded from the Minimum Live-Out (MLO) facility next to the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women, was apprehended within hours of walking away from the facility earlier today.

At approximately 11 AM, Hicks entered a vehicle that had stopped on the public roadway. The vehicle then departed the area. Upon discovering she had absconded, staff began initiating MLO walkaway response procedures.

Prison staff notified State Radio dispatch, local law enforcement, and the High Risk Unit of the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services in an attempt to find the escapee quickly.

At around 3:30 PM, the escapee was apprehended at a residence in Des Moines by members of the 5th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services High Risk Unit (5th Dist. HRU). The 5th Dist. HRU was assisted by several personnel from the US Marshals Office and Polk County Sheriff’s Department. She has been returned to the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women.

Hicks is serving a 25-year sentence for violation of Iowa Code 124.401(1)(b)(7) (Prohibited Acts: counterfeit/simulated controlled substances), a Class B Felony. She began her incarceration for this crime on December 29, 2009, and was transferred to the minimum live-out facility on March 3, 2020.