According to data recently provided by The Department of Correction on assaults, there have been 119 assaults on correction officers since new assault definitions became effective on January 11.
Figures referenced by The Tennessean in Nashville indicate this new number puts the department on pace to potentially double last year’s reported total of assaults on officers.
“This information confirms concerns about assaults and violence TSEA has expressed in several hearings and to the media,” TSEA Government Affairs Director Randy Stamps said. “Either violence wasn’t ‘down’ as Commissioner Derrick Schofield repeatedly told lawmakers last year, and this recent increase is simply a more accurate reflection of assaults from the new definitions, or there has been a sudden spike in violence in our prisons. Either way, we are now getting a clearer picture of the issues facing our correction officers, and it doesn’t look good.”
TSEA is very concerned about the safety of the work environment for our correctional officers. We are aware that it is inherently a dangerous environment, but we want to ensure that officer safety isn’t being compromised.
If you are a correctional officer, we want to hear from you. Has there been a sudden increase in violence in the prisons since January 11, or are these higher numbers a result of the changes to the definitions of assault?