More serious assaults on Ohio prison staff


The state corrections department reports that serious assaults on prison staffers are up, and a union says more corrections officers are needed.

Incidents resulting in serious injuries to prison staff members doubled from Jan. 1, 2007, to last Sept. 30. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction released the report, as required by a s2011 state criminal sentencing overhaul.

The number of assaults on prison staffers overall was 2,675 during the period, with 207 resulting in serious injury.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the union representing prison staff called the report disturbing. It says the number of corrections officers has declined, and believes that has led to increased serious violence against staffers.

“Our members knew from firsthand experience that the reality on the ground was different from what (the department) was reporting,” said Jimmy Adkins, head of the corrections section for the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association.

“We think this report is a wake-up call to the Kasich administration that they need to take a serious look at some of the recommendations this union has made, including an increase in correction officers and other correction employees.,” Adkins said.

The number of corrections officers has dropped from 7,028 in January 2011 to 6,279 this month, or down nearly 11 percent. Prison population fell 1.5 percent, to 49,993, in the same period.

“We need more eyes on the inmates and more feet on the beat,” said union president Christopher Mabe.

Other forms of assaults such as spitting and throwing bodily fluids at prison staffers also increased during the study period, up to 500 last year. But the number of inmate-on-inmate assaults resulting in serious injuries fell last year. There were 963 in the report period.

A spokeswoman for the department says reducing violence is a top priority.

“Any act of violence inside our prisons is unacceptable,” spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said in a statement. “We share the same goal as the union, which is to operate safe and secure prisons. Measures to reduce violence have been and will continue to be a top priority of this agency.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Teen who lied about being gang raped faces felony charges
Teen who lied about being gang raped faces felony charges

A Texas teenager is facing felony charges after she falsely claimed she was kidnapped and raped by three African-American men in March, according to reports. Breana Harmon, 19, ran into a church wearing only a shirt, bra and underwear and told witnesses she had been abducted, taken to the woods behind the church and raped by two of the men...
Sale tax holiday is soon

If you haven’t already stocked up on back-to-school supplies, you may still be able to take advantage of the sales tax holiday. Ohio is one of more than a dozen states offering tax-free shopping days this summer, temporarily dropping the state sales tax on back-to-school necessities and other items — from clothing to electronics. Ohio&rsquo...
Chipotle expands queso offering to 350 locations
Chipotle expands queso offering to 350 locations

Chipotle will begin offering queso in 350 locations, starting Aug. 1. >> Read more trending news The chain announced the expansion Wednesday. “We’ll be rolling out queso to more than 350 restaurants across markets within central and southern California and Colorado, beginning on Aug. 1,” Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle’s chief...
Family of organ recipient attends funeral of donor who saved his life
Family of organ recipient attends funeral of donor who saved his life

A New Jersey woman whose organs were donated after her death last week had special mourners at her funeral -- the family of one of the people whose lives she saved.  Ivonne Martinez Rivera, 41, of Kearny, died July 20, several days after she suffered a brain aneurysm, according to WABC in New York. Her family, which included her husband and...
Meg Ryan, John Mellencamp reportedly dating again
Meg Ryan, John Mellencamp reportedly dating again

John Mellencamp and Meg Ryan are reportedly back together since breaking up over two years ago, according to a published report. Entertainment Tonight reported that the couple started dating in 2010 and broke up five years later. In a March interview with Howard Stern, Mellencamp said Ryan isn’t fond of him. “Oh, women hate...
More Stories