LINCOLN — For a second time this week, prison personnel have been assaulted by inmates, this time at the State Penitentiary in Lincoln, corrections officials report.
On Wednesday night, two corrections officers were assaulted as they were trying to secure inmates in their cells for the night.
When one officer directed an inmate to return to his cell, the officer was struck. A nearby officer was struck too as he responded to take control of the inmate, the officials said.
One of the two officers was treated at a local hospital and released.
On Monday, three corrections officers were assaulted at the state prison in Tecumseh, which also was the scene of a deadly riot last May. Just before that, the penitentiary was the site of a less-serious disturbance, in which four corrections workers were attacked and some $1 million in damage was done.
State Corrections Director Scott Frakes said he was “deeply troubled” by the most recent assault but proud of the quick response. He said such attacks would not be tolerated and said the results of investigations will be forwarded to the county attorney for prosecution.
“By its very nature,” Frakes said, “working in corrections is inherently dangerous. Knowing that your team is there for you, no matter what, enables department professionals to help keep Nebraska safe every day.”
Andrew Nystrom, a Corrections Department spokesman, said that because of the ongoing investigations he could not comment on whether the two recent assaults were linked.
Officials from the State Ombudsman’s Office and the state employees union have said in the past that the Tecumseh prison and the penitentiary have some of the department’s worst problems with employee turnover and vacancies.