Oak Park Heights Prison security video captures serious assault on corrections officer

April 07, 2019 10:13 PM

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS obtained security video from inside Oak Park Heights Correctional Facility, which captured an assault on a corrections officer in early 2018.

The video, which is a rare view inside prison walls, showed an inmate assaulting Corrections Officer James Lange, while Lange was checking inmates returning to their cell blocks after time in the gymnasium.


The inmate is identified as 31-year-old Joshua Anthony Jones, who is currently serving time for a 2010 felony conviction for assault with a dangerous weapon in the benefit of a gang, was convicted April 4 in Washington County Court for the assault on Officer Lange.

Officer Lange did not want to discuss the assault in an on-camera interview but did tell KSTP Reporter Jay Kolls he suffered "a broken eye socket, torn rotator cuff and serious concussion" as a result of the attack and is no longer employed with the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

Jones had 33 months added to his current prison sentence and the Washington County Attorney's Office said this new sentence will run concurrently.

Minnesota Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell told KSTP he was "troubled" by the video and is pushing hard to make safety a top priority during the current legislative session at the State Capitol.

More from KSTP:

$25K fine leveled against Minn. Correctional Facility-Stillwater in connection to officer's death

New DOC Commissioner, lawmakers agree on prison security 

DOC confirms 2 corrections officers injured in assault at Faribault

"It is upsetting to see the video and, as someone who's been on the street doing police work, I understand these things happen," said Schnell. "But, it should not happen and it is unacceptable and there needs to be responses to it like this without a doubt."

Schnell is currently trying to get more than 100 officers hired in Minnesota prisons and will continue to push for better security overall throughout the legislative session.

"Increased staffing levels is very key to all of this," said Schnell. "I have said it from the very beginning, and I will continue to say it, that safety has to be our first priority and that is where we are investing right now."

Two Minnesota corrections officers, Joseph Gomm and Joseph Parise, died in the line of duty in 2018, which is a year that saw a record number of inmate assaults on officers.

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Jay Kolls

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