BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There have been a rash of violent incidents inside Maryland prisons.  Two corrections officers were severely beaten and another was sexually assaulted.

Adam May looks into what’s behind the danger.

A corrections officer at the Baltimore Detention Center was sexually assaulted by an inmate.  Another in Jessup was left with broken bones after he was stomped in the head by an inmate acting up in the prison kitchen.  In Cumberland, a third officer was beaten by an angry inmate busted with pornography.

“The inmate for no reason punched him, broke his jaw.  He was hospitalized,” said Maryland Secretary of Public Safety Gary Maynard.

Maynard says despite these violent attacks over the last five days, serious assaults on prison staff are at their lowest level in five years. But still, safety is becoming a hot topic among corrections officers.

“I met with a group this morning of supervisors who work in the department and we talked about these issues, how important is following policy, make sure people are trained, supervised,” Maynard said.

These attacks come five years after two corrections officers were killed by inmates.  Then and now, union leaders say staffing shortages are creating a dangerous work environment.

Since 2007, the number of officers on the job each month has increased by more than 300, but if every open position in the prison system was filled, there would actually be 130 fewer corrections officers in the state than in 2007.

“Our main thing, we don’t want to see tragic events,” said Patrick Moran.

The corrections officers union fears another David McQuinn or Jeffrey Wroton, both murdered in separate attacks by inmates in 2006.

“We need to give these people that do this dangerous job the ability to control the situation to the best of their ability.  The more resources, the better they can do that,” Moran said.

A corrections official says the union is exaggerating their staffing concerns but the union says even at full staffing, there aren’t enough boots on the ground.

So far this year, 150 inmates have also been seriously assaulted inside prisons.  That’s compared to 177 for the entire year of 2010.

Comments (13)
  1. Kimberly Blackwell says:

    well gee whiz go figure the inmates are takeing over the asylum they dont care there already in jail serving there time they have nothing to lose they say the correctional officers need to be updated on preventing these things yeah they need training alright they need to learn to pull that trigger there packing!!!

    1. baltimore resident says:

      pull what trigger, they don’t carry guns in the jail.

  2. Tracee says:

    Let’s be frank. The administration and surely the lard ass politicians do not give a rat’s ass if staff is assaulted. What they care about is keeping the criminals behind bars and keeping trouble quiet. There have long been problems at the Prison’s…why the hell was the one corrections officer murdered?
    The system has hired too many thugs, too many baby momma’s who have boyfriends in jail or are looking for a man and find him in jail. That is one of the best kept secrets: hiring all these women because males are not passing the background. It is dangerous for all. Especially the officer who does his/her job.
    Send O’Malley into the institution w/o his entourage and only a radio for a week and see if he wants to cut more of their funding.

    If police get a raise, corrections should get a raise. Their job is just as important if not more so.

  3. Tired of Stupid says:

    I am a correctional officer in Maryland and the staffing is horrible. We work so short that at any time that prison can be taken over easily by the inmates. The punishments for inmates that have broken institutional rules are more lenient and the criminals are more vicious than ever before. I know that there are a lot of officers that give us a bad name with all the wrong they do, but there are still a lot of great officers in these war zones and our safety is not a priority of government officials. Please pray for us! RIP Officer Wroten and Officer McGuinn. Sorry it seems that your deaths have been in vain

    1. baltimore resident says:

      I am retired from the Pen, and know what your saying, many a day we had to collapse almost every post except the walls, just to get by and that was with OT from previous shift staying too, this situation was bad then and I know it is worse now, the State don’t care about us at all, the man reason is this, they look at this as a business, who makes money and who don’t. MSP generates funds via tickets, DOC spends, don’t give troopers a raise no tickets wrote no funds made, doc no raise so what we are still there spending more and more, like I said they don’t care, just hang in there, and you’ll make it.

  4. Mike says:

    It is a shame that the convicts have more rights than their victims or the people that have been hired to contain them.
    I say, when they act up, cause trouble, stir up unrest…..beat them till they can’t move for a while.
    If they weren’t violent criminals they wouldn’t be in a cage in the first place. Start treating them like the wild animals they want to be.

    1. rick says:

      mike shut up, they do need get these people help. why dont they tase the he!! out of them.

      1. Mike says:

        I am tired of watching my paycheck get taxed excessively so these animals can be housed and fed, then turn on the people hired to oversee them.
        You need to open your eyes and see that we don’t rehabilitate anyone in our prison system. They are just there to bleed the public dry then get turned back onto the streets to perpetrate more violence.
        Our judicial system needs to be reformed so these violent people are sentenced to a penalty that actually fits the crime they committed.

  5. tasha says:

    I’m a corrections officer.the staffing is terrible.supervision. is terrible.I’m not sure were they get that inmates assaulting officers has decreased.that’s a just didn’t make the news.all u see on the news is when officers harm inmates.yes sometimes it could be excessive.but understand who u r dealing with.criminals.that dnt care.we r in a jail with nuffin more than some outdated mace.this post was about wat happened 2 the officers,but quickly they ended by saying how many inmates have been harmed.they weren’t harm…they were hurt by corrections officers trying 2 protect themselves

  6. tasha says:

    Most of the inmates seriously assaulted in the prison r hurt by one another not corrections officers..

  7. susie says:

    If you STOP giving these thugs priviledges and keep them locked up in their cells,violence would be at a minimum. But of course THE LAW gives them rights. Do they deserve them?nope. Should DOC officers be allowed to use excessive force when attacked,damn right. I can tell you they are understaffed and the incident where the officer had his jaw broke-in that prison the prisoners have the upper hand,get all the priviledges and the Warden is an idiot and allows it to happen.

  8. Tired of Stupid says:

    Spoken like a true inmate Amanda! It is a very big deal when an officer is assaulted in a prison. U mean their families aren’t NOTIFIED? And what family? Most of them r so cracked out, doped up or have killed all of their family members to have anyone notified. Point is the inmates have more protection from the government than its own employees. What a slippery slope we’re on

  9. D.O.C Officer says:

    I’m a C.O. And let me start by saying that Amanda sounds like a typical inmate/inmate lover. Of course we r gonna have different views because we r obviously on different sides of the bars. I understand that inmates are human but they made a CHOICE in life just like everyone else. U put urself in jail, u deal with it. We work long hard hours & are VERY unappreciated but these criminals are provided EVERYTHING they need & MORE and will still assault an officer. There is alot that goes on in these jails that dont make the news, especially when officers get injured. Personally i’ve been assaulted by several inmates & administration have tried to make a case against me smh its ridiculous they dont care & its sad. These assaults can be decreased by increasing staff cuz thats the #1 problem. They also need to limit the time these inmates are out of their cells if u ask me…

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