LANSING, Kan. — A corrections officer at the Lansing Correctional Facility suffered cuts and possible fractures to his face after he was allegedly attacked by an inmate Monday morning.
It’s the second time this month a guard working at the prison has been sent to a hospital in similar attacks.
Monday morning’s incident happened either during or close to breakfast in the maximum security unit, according to the union that represents corrections officers at the prison. The union said the inmate allegedly put soap in a sock and used it to assault the correctional officer.
Investigators with the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) are investigating an incident that occurred the morning of Nov. 29, 2021 at Lansing Correctional Facility. In this incident, a corrections officer was injured by a resident, resulting in transportation of the officer to the hospital for evaluation and treatment.
This is an ongoing investigation, and once concluded the findings will be presented to the appropriate authorities for possible criminal prosecution.Carol Pitts | Public Information Officer for Kansas Dept. of Corrections
The officer was the only guard on the unit for most of the night, according to the union, and it is working to determine if the officer was also alone at the time of the attack.
It just once again highlights the severe staffing shortage and how unsafe it is for both the workers that work at Lansing Correctional Facility, as well as the individuals who are housed there.Sarah LaFrenz | Union President for Kansas Organization of State Employees
Earlier this month, the union said an inmate assaulted a female corrections officer. During that attack, the guard was allegedly punched repeatedly and hit in the face and head with a padlock. The employee suffered facial fractures, other broken bones, and may have suffered a severe head injury.
The union said it believes the woman has been released from the hospital, but due to privacy laws can’t release specific information about her or her condition.
For 13 days and counting, Greg Peters has been picketing outside the Lansing Correctional Facility – holding signs, pushing for safety inside.
“And I’m going to keep on coming until they lock the place down,” Peters said.
Peters, a retired corrections officer who worked at the facility for 20 years, says he was disturbed, but not surprised to hear that another inmate assaulted an officer at the prison. He blames staffing shortages.
Kansas Department of Corrections Secretary Jeff Zmuda’s office declined an interview.
Last month, he said adult prisons in Kansas are down a total of 520 employees.
Last week, Gov. Laura Kelly announced temporary pay raises for state employees in 24/7 facilities — including corrections officers.
“I don’t think they understand, it’s the safety,” Peters said. “You can get paid, they like the money, but are you going to be able to spend it if you’re dead.”
Peters said that could take months to get implemented and see benefits. He said prison staff need help now, either from the Kansas National Guard or a total lockdown.
“Keeps people alive. Keep them from getting beat up, stabbed, on both sides of the fence in there,” Peters said. “The inmates and the people, we’ve got to do something.”
Peters said he’s sent an email to the governor’s office every week since the end of July, but no response.
We reached out to the governor with a list a questions and did not immediately hear back.