JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — There is a new tool available online for tracking assaults on corrections staff and other major incidents in Missouri.
The Missouri Department of Corrections recently launched a weekly advisory report that will summarize assaults on corrections officers and other staff members in the line of duty as well as major disturbances and other significant incidents occurring in state-run facilities.
“In response to employees’ requests to be better informed about assaults on MODOC staff, the department has begun posting weekly summaries of assaults and major incidents on our public website at doc.mo.gov/alerts. If an ongoing serious incident occurs, this page also will be used to keep staff and the public updated as events unfold,” the DOC’s February 2019 Employee Newsletter states. “Please keep in mind that while it’s important for everyone at a worksite to know about an incident as soon as possible, site administrators need time to gather accurate information and verify reports.”
According to the webpage, there have been eight incidents since January 12, 2018, at six different facilities.
Three separate incidents have occured at the South Central Correctional Center. On January 13, an offender threw bodily fluids and food at an officer’s face and chest. On January 21, an offender spat in the officer’s face and then struck the officer in the cheek and neck with his head. On January 29, an offender swung at three officers and became aggressive. Two officers were examined by outside medical staff while the third officer declined medical attention.
At the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center an offender struck a cook — who sustained injuries — three times on the face and struck an officer in the face with a fist. At the Farmington Correctional Center, an offender assaulted an officer and an institutional activity coordinator. The officer’s shoulder and ankle were injured, and the activity coordinator sustained a minor abrasion on the right wrist. At the Fulton Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center, an offender struck an officer’s side and face.
At the Moberly Correctional Center, an offender spat in an officer’s face and became aggressive. At the Northeast Correctional Center, an offender attempted to pull an officer toward the food port door.
The webpage defines the difference between a major assault and a minor assault.
“A major assault is defined as:
- Causing physical injury to another, either with or without a weapon or through the use of any substance, instrument or device, requiring urgent and immediate medical treatment more extensive than mere first aid.
- Causing a person to come into contact with or throwing or projecting feces or body fluids.
- Subjecting a staff member without consent to physical contact by kissing or touching the sexual parts.
A minor assault is defined as:
- Causing non-serious physical injury by striking another, which may result in minor first aid being administered.
- Using a non-dangerous object or substance; or by any other physically aggressive act.
- Subjecting a staff member to any physical contact without consent.”
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at email@example.com.