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Virginia Department of Corrections — Public Safety First

News: Press Release

For Immediate Release: November 16, 2012- Contact Lisa E. Kinney, (804) 674-3275

Correctional Officer Expected to Recover Fully Following Inmate Assault at Sussex 1 State Prison

RICHMOND — A correctional officer is expected to recover fully following a Thursday attack by an inmate at the Virginia Department of Corrections' Sussex 1 state prison.

On Thursday, November 15, at approximately 11:30 a.m., two inmates were involved in a fight at the Virginia Department of Corrections' Sussex 1 state prison in Waverly, Virginia. When security staff responded, an inmate stabbed a correctional officer in the upper right area of his chest with a metal object. The offender was restrained and the officer was attended to by medical staff.

The officer was triaged in the prison's medical department until an ambulance arrived and was transported to the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical Center by med-flight at approximately 12:30 p.m. The officer underwent successful surgery. Treating physicians indicated that a contributing factor to the successful surgery was the fact that Sussex 1 state prison medical and security staff acted so quickly in getting the officer to the VCU Medical Center. The officer is stable at this time and expected to make a full recovery.

Nearly 7,000 Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) correctional officers manage approximately 30,000 offenders. Correctional officers take great risks every day to ensure the safety of the public, their fellow officers and those individuals committed to their care.

"The correctional officer's task is not an easy one," said VADOC Director Harold Clarke. "Our correctional officers work hard and take great pride in what they do. I want to commend the staff at Sussex 1 state prison on their handling of this situation and the aid they rendered the injured officer."

Virginia is safer because VADOC's correctional officers are well trained and motivated. Training includes Evidence Based Practices, offender re-entry case planning, and offender programming, including Anger Management and Thinking for a Change. Specially-trained treatment officers blend the role of cognitive counselor and uniformed officer. This means today's correctional officer does not simply "guard" an offender. The officer is involved in every aspect of reform and offender education which enhance public safety.

"Seven days a week and 365 days a year, correctional officers, parole and probation officers, and other Department of Corrections staff work as a team to make Virginia a safer place to live and work," said Secretary of Public Safety Marla Decker. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured officer and his family as he recovers."