Sheriff and jail

Prior to his career in law enforcement Don Phillips worked several different jobs in building maintenance and security while serving in the United States Naval Reserves for 9 years from 1985 until 1994 where he served with great pride.
Phillips began his career in law enforcement when he was hired by the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office in 1990 as a Reserve Deputy and was hired as a full-time Deputy with the office in 1994. He worked as a Deputy Sheriff until he was appointed Chief Deputy in 2013. During his time as a Deputy Sheriff he worked as a Patrol Deputy assigned to patrol and investigations and was also assigned to the Southeast Iowa Inter-Agency Drug Task Force for 2.5 years as an Investigator.

Sheriff Phillips family includes his wife Amy, five children and 14 grandchildren.

A message from Don Phillips

I have dedicated my life to law enforcement and I take great pride in protecting and serving the citizens of Wapello County as their elected Sheriff. I will work to keep the faith of our citizens through promoting honesty, integrity and professionalism throughout the many divisions of the Sheriff’s Office.

Please feel free to contact our office at any time or utilize our website to its fullest potential.


Donald L. Phillips

Wapello County Sheriff

Weapon Permits

Weapon Permit Public Notice


Applications are taken by downloading and completing an employment application or at the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office .  Completed applications can be returned to the Sheriff’s Office.

Application for Employment


The Wapello County Jail is operated at the direction of the Sheriff and is supported by the Jail Administration and additional support staff including both men and women Correctional Officers, Dispatchers and Kitchen Staff. All these positions are staffed within the secure perimeter of the Jail Facility.

Jail personnel are responsible for the daily operation of the Jail in keeping the facility a safe and secure environment for both inmates and staff.  The jail is direct supervision jail and is operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Jail personnel are generally also responsible for maintaining inmate’s court appearances, medical appointments, mental health appointments and transports to and from other correctional facilities and overseeing jail visitation.


Monday through Thursday 6:30pm-9:00pm.  Visitation is through telephone and video monitors in the Jail Lobby connected with the inmate in their particular cell area.  To visit you must be on the inmates list and have a state issued photo ID.  If you want on an inmate’s list you must write that inmate a letter stating such and that inmate will communicate that to jail personnel.  Children under the age of 3 are not required to be on the inmate’s visitation list but are required to be supervised.   All children are required to be supervised during visitation hours. Inmates are allowed 30 minutes per week total visitation.

Frequently Asked Jail Related Questions

How do I send a inmate money for commissary items?
The Wapello County Jail does not accept cash or personal checks.  You will need to get a money order or cashiers check and send it to that person through the USPS Mail.  You can not drop it off at the jail.  You can also go to or call 1-866-394-0490 and send money by credit card. You can also use the Kiosk located in the Jail Lobby.  You can also go to or call 1-800-634-3422 to send money via Western Union.

How do the phone calls work?

We use Prodigy for our inmate phone system. The inmates can purchase phone time through their commissary account. Friends and family can also put money on their by calling 1-866-797-5578 or go online at

What if I want my number blocked so I don’t receive calls from the jail?

Call the jail and give them your name and number or you can call Prodigy directly at 1-866-797-5578

Are phone calls and visitation different?
Yes.  Visitation requires a trip to the Jail by the person that wants to talk to the inmate.  Phone calls can be made by inmates at all times that they are not in lockdown.