Lansing corrections officer hospitalized following Wednesday inmate attack
Union calls for safety changes within facility
LANSING, Kan. (WIBW) - An officer at the Lansing Correctional Facility has been hospitalized following an inmate attack on Wednesday.
KDOC said it is investigating the incident but has only said the female corrections officer was injured by the inmate and in the hospital.
“This is an ongoing investigation, and upon its conclusion, the findings will be presented to the appropriate authorities for possible criminal prosecution,” said KDOC.
The Kansas Organization of State Employees, the union which represents correctional officers, said the events which landed the officer in the emergency room are a “terrible tragedy and stem directly from the poor management decisions at Lansing Correctional Facility and the Kansas Department of Corrections.” It went on to call on KDOC to address staffing issues and working conditions or more dangerous situations will continue to happen.
For years, KOSE said it has pushed on the dangerous staffing levels at the facility as well as others throughout the state. It said workers have complained many times about the conditions to management and to the administration.
“This incident cements the fact that KDOC’s decisions clearly put the lives of state employees at risk,” said a KOSE spokesman.
According to KOSE, the attack on the officer happened just before the afternoon shift change and reports conflict on how she was found.
“LCF management reports that she was attacked by one inmate on the B2 unit and punched repeatedly in the face and head,” said KOSE. “Meth was reportedly found on the inmate after the assault. Ms. Bindel has, to our knowledge, sustained facial fractures, may have a severe head injury, and suffers from other broken bones.”
KOSE confirmed the officer was in the Intensive Care Unit on Wednesday night in stable condition but was heavily sedated.
“The pod on B2, the unit Ms. Bindel was assigned to, was “designed” to operate with a ratio of one corrections officer to however many inmates are in the pod—in this case, approximately 127 inmates,” KOSE stated. “This “design” is wrong and dangerous, and led directly to this brutal assault.”
The organization went on to say almost every decision KDOC management has made, including facility design and staffing policies, has had a negative impact on staffing levels as well as the health and safety of officers working on the units.
“KDOC, Governor Kelly’s administration, and the Kansas state legislature must act now to address these issues,” KOSE said. “This includes but is not limited to staffing levels that support as well as protect workers and the populations alike, as well as properly paying workers who take on this huge responsibility as well as the innate risks that are present while working in Corrections in Kansas.”
This is a developing story.
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