Inmate takes Lexington staff member hostage at knife point

A prisoner at the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center took a staff member hostage Wednesday. The inmate got as far as the prison worker’s vehicle in the parking lot before being apprehended.
by Graham Lee Brewer Modified: March 13, 2014 at 1:54 pm •  Published: March 13, 2014

Massie said the female staff member was unharmed, and the ordeal lasted about 20 minutes. The inmate with the weapon is serving time for possessing a firearm after a felony conviction. The other inmate is serving time on drug charges.

The Lexington facility is not unique in that it is dealing with a shortage of correctional officers. The facility is authorized to employ 196 officers, but it has only 98 on staff. Officers and advocates have voiced concerns in recent years that the low officer staffing levels present a safety hazard for prison workers. Right now, only about 60 percent of positions in prisons statewide are filled.

In late December, a female case worker at the Joseph Harp Correctional Center, immediately east of the Lexington center, was assaulted by an inmate. She and one guard were alone in a unit with 160 prisoners.

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 he went on to cover the Oklahoma Senate for eCapitol before joining the...
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