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Female case worker assaulted in Lexington prison

A case worker at the Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington sustained significant injuries after being assaulted by a male inmate Friday.
by Graham Lee Brewer Modified: December 21, 2013 at 12:33 pm •  Published: December 21, 2013
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LEXINGTON -- A female case manager at the Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington was assaulted by an inmate Friday, resulting in a broken nose.
 
After an inmate was released from the segregated housing unit on Friday, he went to speak with the case manager and then assaulted her in her office, said Sean Wallace, head of Oklahoma Corrections Professionals, a group that represents the state’s corrections workers.
 
Joseph Harp is the state’s largest medium security facility, housing about 1,400 male inmates.
 
While case workers in state prisons are classified as non-hazardous employees, they work closely with inmates and it is not uncommon for them to spend time alone with offenders.
 
Wallace said like in many of the state’s prisons, staffing at Harp has decreased over recent years, due in part to low pay. A correctional officer in Oklahoma starts off at a rate of $11.83 per hour.
 
According to Wallace, the unit the case manager was working in houses 160 inmates, and only one correctional officer was in the unit at the time of the assault.
 
“Five or six years ago there would have been five or six employees on that unit,” said Wallace.

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by Graham Lee Brewer
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Graham Lee Brewer began his career as a journalist covering Oklahoma's vibrant music scene in 2006. After working as a public radio reporter for KGOU and then Oklahoma Watch, where he covered areas such as immigration and drug addiction, he went...
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