Several attacks against Toledo prison guards this year - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Several attacks on Toledo prison guards this year

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TOLEDO, Ohio -

Almost 20 punches to the head -- that's what one corrections officer received Monday from an inmate at the Toledo Correctional Institution in North Toledo.  That is according to the union that represents the officers.   

The 13abc I-Team has discovered that it is just one of several assaults that have happened in the past few months.      

According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, which investigates incidents at Toledo Correctional, there have been six ‘inmate on guard' assaults since March. Prison officials say three of those assaults have involved Level 4 offenders, which are considered maximum security.  Level 5 is the highest.   

The Level 4 offenders arrived at TOCI in February.  One of them attacked a guard Tuesday.  Union officials say the guard was hit 15 to 20 times in the face and had hair yanked from her head. Emergency crews took her to Mercy Saint Vincent's, where she was treated and released. 

"They are doing the best that they can with what they have.  They do have fears of assault and other things going in on a daily basis up there.  More so than ever before," said Tim Shafer, an Operations Director with OCSEA.  That's the union that represents the corrections officers. 

He says staffing levels are the biggest concern.  He understands budgets are tight but says safety of the guard and the other inmates should be of most paramount concern. 

"The mind set is you go in knowing that you're in a dangerous situation, but you have ample backup and support, that's the problem.  Those folks up there don't feel like they have the backup and the support that they need," said Shafer. 

A prison spokesperson was not available for an interview Tuesday but did say all there are no new changes to policy since adding the Level 4 offenders, but everyone is urged to be cautious.  She didn't want to comment on whether or not the guards are safer these days.  So should the city at large be worried with assaults like this happening in our community? 

"People of Toledo can feel safe because they have professionals in those jobs," said Shafer. 

Union reps say a good indication that these guards are dedicated to this job, is that despite the staffing levels and the assaults, all the shifts came to work today to keep this place safe.

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