Pope plans to visit prison where correctional officer was stabbed

Commissioner of Prisons Louis Giorla declined to speak about security measures the prison plans to take for the pope’s visit


Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — An inmate stabbed a corrections officer with a makeshift nail at a Philadelphia prison where Pope Francis is planning a September visit, but officials said Thursday they remain confident in their ability to ensure his safety.

The attack occurred just before 6 p.m. Wednesday at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in the city’s Holmesburg section, where police said Matthew Early, 20, stabbed the officer in the face, head, neck, shoulders and arms.

Pope Francis holds hands with children wearing traditional clothing as he walks with Bolivian President Evo Morales upon his arrival at the El Alto airport in Bolivia. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis holds hands with children wearing traditional clothing as he walks with Bolivian President Evo Morales upon his arrival at the El Alto airport in Bolivia. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

The officer, Tyree Holmes, 25, was treated and released from Aria-Torresdale Hospital Wednesday evening. Commissioner of Prisons Louis Giorla said Thursday he was “resting comfortably.”

Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the prison on Sept. 27 while he’s in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families. The pope still plans to visit the facility, said a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Giorla declined to speak about security measures the prison plans to take for the pope’s visit but said: “The pope is an international leader, he’s a religious leader, he’s a special guest when he comes, but I think if you look around, if you travel around this facility, we entertain visitors all day long.”

The prison manages 1,000 inmate visits a day.

“All I can say is we’ll do what we normally do, and we’ll do it as diligently as we can,” Giorla said.

Early is awaiting sentencing on charges of attempted murder in a 2012 shooting at a train station that injured two Chicago Bulls fans. Prosecutors say Early and his brother had been arguing with the Bulls fans after a Philadelphia 76ers game.

The name of Early’s public defender wasn’t available.

Associated Press
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