A Connecticut correction officer was transported to a hospital Thursday for treatment following an assault by an incarcerated person at a facility in Cheshire. The incident marks the third time this week a prison employee has been hospitalized as a result of an attack.
The Department of Correction announced the incident in a Friday morning press release, which described an assault by an unnamed attacker in Cheshire Correctional Institution on an officer who was handing out food trays.
The officer was treated and released at a local hospital, while the attacker was transferred to restricted housing at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield.
The incident occurred just two days after two other correction officers were stabbed in an incident at Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown. Both officers survived the attack and were treated and released at a hospital, according to the DOC.
On Friday, Correction Commissioner Angel Quiros called the incidents “totally unacceptable.”
“These unprovoked attacks must stop,” Quiros said. “I will use whatever means I have at my disposal to insure the safety of the brave men and women of this Agency.”
In a statement, AFSCME Local 387 President Sean Howard said Thursday’s attack occurred as the officer involved was protecting another incarcerated person from an attack.
“The responding Officer sustained multiple blows to the face and body, resulting in multiple significant injuries,” Howard said. “This incident is the latest in a series of violent assaults on staff — three (3) assaults in the last three weeks for the total of four (4) attacked staff — which is completely unacceptable.”
Union officials have argued that recent policy changes ensuring inmates receive more time outside their cells have contributed to the attacks. Howard called on state legislators and the governor to take action to protect both the people working in Connecticut prisons and those incarcerated there.
“We have a right to go home in one piece,” Howard said. “Legislators are dictating our working conditions without any knowledge of the challenges we face every day.”
On Friday, Quiros said he would continue to work with DOC and union officials to craft policies to reduce violent incidents.
“I want to make it clear that an individual who assaults a Department of Correction staff member will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Quiros said. “Actions have consequences.”