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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Employee agency: Violence 'erupting' at Lansing Correctional

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  • The Kansas Organization of State Employees issued a statement Thursday afternoon expressing "extreme concern" for the safety of state correctional officers at Lansing Correctional Facility.
    The statement comes "in the wake of erupting violence at a state run prison where, over the past several days, 10 officers have been injured in inmate attacks," KOSE reported.
    Between June 5 and 9, at least five separate incidents of inmate to officer violence occurred at LCF, resulting in officers being severely injured, according to the organization's statement.
    "Officers reported to KOSE they expected some sort of facility-wide response, such as a lockdown or a yard closure, but none has occurred," the agency reported. "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.'"
    LCF, like many state facilities, is operating short-staffed, due in part to a shrinking state budget, according to KOSE.
    “According to the officers at Lansing, Lansing Correctional Facility is understaffed by approximately 55 officers," KOSE Executive Director Rebecca Proctor said. "One of the June 5 attacks happened on a shift that was operating nine 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.
    “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 stated that it 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, but KDOC replied that it is not obligated to share any information, according to the statement.
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