Authorities Investigating Assault on Staff at MN Prison

By KBJR News 1

Authorities Investigating Assault on Staff at MN Prison

January 31, 2013 Updated Jan 31, 2013 at 1:49 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Authorities are investigating the report of an assault on four staff members at the Stillwater prison that sent two to the hospital.

On Wednesday, an altercation began in the prison's food service area when one of the offenders allegedly approached staff members with a complaint, but then started attacking them without warning.

Additional officers were called to the scene and were able to taken the offender into custody.

A correctional officer and a contract food service employee were sent to the hospital as a result of the incident, both were treated and released. Two other employees received minor injuries.

The Department of Corrections Office of Special Investigations is conducting a criminal investigation of the incident. When the investigation is finished, the Washington County Attorney will decide if criminal charges should be filed against the suspected offender.

“This incident underscores how dangerous this work can be,” said Corrections Commissioner Tom Roy. “We have been working very hard to make sure that our staff has the training and the tools they need to respond when incidents like this occur.”

Roy adds that the number of offender-on-staff assaults has dropped dramatically over the past two years. In 2010, there were 42 offender-on-staff assaults in Minnesota’s 10 correctional facilities, in 2011 there were 16 and in 2012 there were 17.

Recently, the Department of Corrections started a new training program for employees who work with offenders on a daily basis, called Crisis Intervention Training.

The program addresses the challenges of working with offenders who have mental health issues and helps staff recognize and then defuse potentially violent situations before use of force is needed.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns