Three correctional workers at USP Canaan in Canaan, Pennsylvania, were assaulted in the dining hall on Tuesday by an inmate they supervised. The inmate attacked a food service foreman with a shank, aiming for his throat and neck. When his colleagues tried to break up the attack, one was struck with the shank in his chest above his stab-proof vest. Two of the three correctional workers were transported to an area hospital and treated for stab wounds, one for a dislocated shoulder. The other worker was treated for minor injuries and released. The prisoner was separated from general population for safety reasons.
This is the same prison where another correctional officer Eric Williams was murdered by an inmate just two years ago.
“This attack is a travesty, and yet another example of why we need meaningful reforms to make our prisons safer,” said AFGE Council of Prison Locals President Eric Young. “Our correctional workers risk their lives, day in and day out, to keep our communities safe. We cannot continue to allow attacks like this to happen in our Bureau of Prisons.”
“It is unacceptable that our correctional workers should have to continue to give their lives supervising the most dangerous criminals in our country. We need to make it clear that assaulting an officer carries real consequences, and we need to continue our efforts to make our prisons a safer work environment,” he added.
AFGE has lead the fight to protect correctional workers in the Bureau of Prisons, and will continue to fight for smart sentencing reform to reduce dangerous overcrowding. AFGE has also demanded more funding for staff hiring to ease overcrowding, especially in our maximum security facilities.
AFGE has called for permanent funding for the pepper spray pilot program - which provides pepper spray for self-defense to correctional workers in all medium, high and maximum security prisons – and for the Bureau of Prisons to provide correctional workers with gun lockers to safely secure their weapons while they are on duty.