The Kansas Organization of State Employees (KOSE) today expressed extreme concern for the safety of state correctional officers in the wake of erupting violence at a state run prison where, over the past several days, ten officers have been injured in inmate attacks.
Between June 5th and 9th, no less than five separate incidents of inmate to officer violence occurred at Lansing Correctional Facility, resulting in officers being severely injured. Officers reported to KOSE they expected some sort of facility-wide response, such as a lockdown or a yard closure, but none has occurred. To date, KOSE officials are unaware of any facility-wide action taken by administrators to demonstrate zero tolerance for inmate to officer violence.
The lack of response is troubling, as Lansing Correctional Officers have observed inmates celebrating the attacks and encouraging the offenders to “keep up the good work.”
Lansing Correctional Facility, like many State facilities, is operating short-staffed, due in part to the shrinking state budget. KOSE Executive Director Rebecca Proctor said, “According to the officers at Lansing, Lansing Correctional Facility is understaffed by approximately fifty-five (55) officers. One of the June 5th attacks happened on a shift that was operating nine (9) officers short of full staffing. Inmates recognize the staffing situation and are increasingly testing the boundaries and response capabilities. Sadly, they are becoming more successful and emboldened.” Proctor continued “When our governor and the legislature refuse to appropriately fund public services, including corrections, they send a clear message to the bad guys: it’s open season on the good guys.”
KOSE obtained all information about the attacks directly from officers. KOSE requested official information about the attacks and any planned response from the Department of Corrections (KDOC). KDOC replied that it is not obligated to share any information.