2 Stillwater corrections officers hospitalized after assault; prison on lockdown
State officials say two Stillwater corrections officers were hospitalized after they were attacked over the weekend.
According to the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC), the two officers were doing a routine cell search at around 4:40 p.m. Saturday when the department says they were attacked.
One of the officers was treated at Lakeview Hospital and released; the other was more seriously injured and was treated at Regions Hospital in St. Paul but has also since been released, according to the DOC.
The department says the inmate responsible for the attack has been moved to the Oak Park Heights facility’s maximum-security unit.
Information on the attack was also sent to the Washington County Attorney’s Office for potential charges.
The Stillwater prison was put on lockdown and remained on lockdown Monday. DOC officials say the lockdown will continue “until more information can be obtained, and we can evaluate how this incident connects to an assault at the end of January, and any other issues in the facility.”
The AFSCME Council 5 labor union, which includes state correction officers, and AFSCME Corrections Policy Committee provided this statement regarding the incident.
“Two Correctional Officers experienced injuries as a result of being attacked on the job. One correctional officer was repeatedly punched in the face and needed to seek medical treatment. A second correctional officer experienced injuries in the course of the incident and was also taken to the hospital for treatment. Since the attack, both correctional officers have been released from the hospital and one has not returned back to work yet as a result of his injuries.
“Our union remains gravely concerned with the increase in assaults on correctional security staff. These attacks must never become normalized, nor viewed as routine and/or acceptable acts. Attacks on staff also cannot be met with a response as usual. These attacks are unacceptable and we call for accountability of those who commit these violent attacks on staff who conduct their work every day with integrity and bravery.
“For many years, our union has publicly expressed our significant concerns with the large increases in staff assaults. We renew our call for the Department of Corrections to prioritize the need to protect the safety of workers and all persons in these facilities over the wants of those incarcerated. Without proper safety and security in correctional facilities in place first, critical programming needs will not work effectively at reducing recidivism and reforming offenders. We need the Department to work directly with workers to develop robust security staffing plans to prevent staff assaults and support the critical work of correctional staff. We will work to ensure policies and procedures work effectively at ensuring correctional facilities are safe and officers, staff, and their families who are impacted by incidents are prioritized with robust after care and resources are provided as quickly as possible. We will never relent on our union’s mission to ensure safe staffing in every workplace across our state.”