4 COs injured, Minn. prison locked down after inmate attack

An inmate punched an officer in the face, sparking a facility lockdown


By Karen Zamora
Star Tribune

FARIBAULT, Minn. — The state prison in Faribault, Minn., was placed on lockdown Monday after an inmate punched a corrections officer in the face.

Three of the responding officers were also injured, said Department of Corrections (DOC) spokeswoman Sarah Fitzgerald.

An offender punched the officer at 11:30 a.m. in the dining hall, Fitzgerald said. The injured officers were taken to the hospital, and the inmate was put in restrictive housing.

This is the latest in a slew of recent serious incidents involving inmates and corrections officers this year.

Last week, an inmate at the Rush City prison punched a corrections officer in the face. The officer defended herself until colleagues arrived to restrain the inmate.

In August, the Faribault prison was also on lockdown after what the DOC called "an investigation." The Faribault prison consists of a medium-security facility and a minimum-security unit outside the secured perimeter. With a combined population of more than 2,000 adult men, it's the largest facility in the state prison system.

In June, a corrections officer was seriously injured during an altercation at Oak Park Heights prison. This came after another incident involving 10 staff members there who were injured during two fights in a span of a few days.

Earlier this month, the DOC delayed reopening an industrial building on the sprawling Stillwater prison campus after 30 employees refused orders to return to work without increased staffing and security.

AFSCME Council 5, the labor union that represents 2,000 corrections officers in Minnesota, said that its members remain shaken from the loss of veteran Stillwater corrections officer Joseph Gomm. A violent offender beat Gomm to death in July.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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