In Memory of Correctional Officer Michael Donovan Teachout
On Saturday, November 28, 2020, the Iowa Department of Corrections briefed the public that it had lost a law enforcement officer from its department to the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, correction officers across the country have put their very lives on the line for the safety of others. The virus ravages prisons, institutions, and other correctional facilities once it enters the building. This includes lives lost among both inmates and staff.
Correctional Officer Mike Donovan Teachout, age 63, died due to complications of the virus. He contracted COVID19 while serving his community as a sworn corrections officer. Teachout had worked with the Iowa Department of Corrections, and his last assignment was at the Clarinda Correctional Facility. Teachout is the 10th correctional officer to die in the line of duty in the department’s history.
Officer Teachout was from the area and stayed near the home he grew up in on Teachout Road. He has farmed, worked for Honeywell, Larson Motors, and with the Iowa Department of Corrections.
Iowa Department of Corrections
The Iowa Department of Corrections is the primary law enforcement agency responsible for the oversight of the correctional system in Iowa. Headquartered in Des Moines, the agency operates nine correctional facilities in the state.
IDOC has approximately 3,600 employees that work together to keep the facilities operational. Nearly 2800 of these are sworn law enforcement officers. In addition, the department gives free mid-shift meals to officers, provides educational benefits, and works with physicians and nurses to cover their college tuition in return for spending time working with the inmates.
Clarinda Correctional Facility
Located in Page County, Iowa, the Clarinda Correctional Facility was the most recent assignment for Correctional Officer Teachout. Clarinda is a medium-security prison. It primarily accommodates adult males who have substance abuse issues, are mentally ill, or have special needs like being intellectually disabled.
The facility can hold up to 975 male inmates. In addition, there is a cabin area that is considered minimum security. Inmates in this area can work on the grounds or even out in the community on supervised assignments. GEDs are offered as well as training in different areas of manufacturing.
Correctional Officer Michael Donovan Teachout leaves behind his wife, three children, three grandchildren, mother, and siblings. The Teachout family will need to cling to each other for support and accept the community’s gratitude for their sacrifice. Residents lined the streets as Officer Teachout was escorted home to his final resting place.
Judy Foutch shared her dismay at learning of the loss of someone she considered a friend. “I truly am at a loss for words! Mike was such a support to me during my days of coaching softball in Shen. He always had something funny to say to Todd and me. I will be praying for each of you for peace and comfort. I am always available to talk if any of you need anything!”
Rebeccah Castle shared sympathies with the Teachout family. “We are so sorry for your heartbreaking loss. He was such a proud and loving husband, father, and grandfather, and it was easy to see how much he loved you all. May the good memories be a comfort to you, and remember to lean on your friends as much as you can for support.”
Coworker Mike Fletchall shared support for the family. “Mikey was a great friend. He could always make anyone smile. Mikey loved his family and always talked highly of them. He will be greatly missed, and I will cherish the time I worked with Mikey T.”