Union wants safer parking after newly-released inmate attacks CO

The call comes after a newly-released inmate attacked a CO and attempted to carjack him

By CorrectionsOne Staff

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia corrections officers’ union is asking for safer parking for COs after a newly-released inmate attacked an officer in an attempt to carjack him.

Metro US reports that Jamal Bennett was just released from the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility on Friday when he attacked CO Michael Maratea and attempted to take his vehicle. Maratea, who was just gotten off work, shot Bennet after the suspect reportedly tried to grab the officer’s licensed firearm.

Union officials said they have complained to prison administration about safety in prison parking lots for years. The parking lots are used by both staff and inmates’ families and visitors.

"Correctional Officers currently park next to inmates’ families and have to receive threats and verbal abuse while going to work. This is a dangerous situation," Local 159 President Lorenzo North said. "No ex-inmate or any visitor should park in the same parking lot as staff. ... No other prison allows visitors to park with correctional staff but the Philadelphia Department of Prisons."

North wants prison administrators to change the parking rules.

"I request the commissioner of prisons to make one big decision on behalf of the correctional officers' safety: [to make] all parking on prisons ground for correctional officers only."

Bennett, whose last stay was his seventh time in a Philly correctional facility since 2011, was in critical but stable condition. Maratea was treated for head and neck pain.

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