LANSING, Kan. — The state employee’s union in Kansas said another corrections officer at Lansing Correctional Facility was brutally attacked by an inmate. This marks two officers attacked at the prison in less than a month.
Sarah LaFrenz, the president of the Kansas Organization of State Employees (KOSA) said a long-time male Lansing Corrections employee was attacked by an inmate and sent to the hospital.
“About 5:00 in the morning in the max unit we had a correctional officer that was assaulted by an inmate,” LaFrenz said. “As we understand it, he was assaulted by the inmate with a bar of soap in a sock.”
She said the officer was sent to the hospital to check for cuts to his face and a traumatic brain injury. KOSA said it believes he was the only officer on duty to a cell of at least 100-inmates.
Earlier this month, a female officer was attacked by an inmate. According to the union, she was hit in the face with a padlock attached to a belt while alone. Other inmates used her radio to call for help.
Current and former Lansing Correction employees and officials with the state workers union said they were worried an officer attack could happen again. They highlighted the need for more staff, experience and pay raises — calling the prison out for what they described as 'dangerous working conditions.'
Greg Peters, a retired first sergeant at Lansing Correctional Facility, continues to protest in front of the prison demanding the prison be locked down until staffing increases.
“I’m not surprised, I figured it was going to happen,” Peters said.
“Staffing is at absolutely a critical breaking point. When you have one person trying to handle these things it leads to bad outcomes like we are seeing now,” LaFrenz said.
According to LaFrenz the female officer is still recovering and she said she believes the two attacks could have been prevented.
“Fear for your people, the sadness that this occurs and really deep anger that this continues,” LaFrenz said.
It’s unclear if any charges have been filed in either attack.
The union and a current staff employee said LCF Warden Shannon Meyer stepped down earlier this month to spend more time with her family and that James Skidmore was named as the acting warden.
KSHB 41 reached out to the Kansas Department of Corrections multiple times previously and again on Monday to see about these attacks and staffing numbers, our requests went unanswered.
KSHB 41 also reached out to the governor’s office for comment, with no answer.
Last week Governor Laura Kelly announced a pay increase plan to address 24/7 operations and their staffing shortage including a bonus, a base pay and differential increase.