Officers’ Quick Action Thwarts Serious Injury to Staff

For Immediate Release:
July 27, 2018

Karen Pojmann, Communications Director
Missouri Department of Corrections

Officers’ Quick Action Thwarts Serious Injury to Staff

JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI -- At approximately 8:30 a.m. Friday, July 27, an offender at Jefferson City Correctional Center (JCCC) assaulted a non-custodial employee and threatened her with a homemade weapon.

The offender had been locked in an outdoor recreation cell, a chain-link structure used to contain administrative-segregation offenders during the one-hour outdoor recreation periods they are permitted three times a week while assigned to the segregation unit, separated from the general population. The offender removed a wire from the structure, enabling him to create an opening, crawl out and access an outdoor area within the secure perimeter of the facility. He then attacked the employee from behind, pulled her into a sitting position on the ground, and held to her throat a homemade weapon fashioned from a piece of wire.

An officer on the scene responded instantly, attempting to intervene and free the employee. Within seconds, 12 additional officers approached but stepped back when the offender threatened to hurt the employee using the weapon. A functional unit manager was called to the scene to talk to the offender, and the officers persuaded the offender to release the employee and surrender the weapon. He submitted to restraints and was secured inside the administrative segregation unit. No emergency medical treatment was required for injuries.

The incident lasted three minutes.

The institution was placed on temporary, modified lockdown until approximately 1 p.m. Friday while staff searched all administrative segregation units and ensured the security of the institution. A review is being conducted to determine what steps can be taken to prevent a recurrence.

The department is profoundly grateful to the JCCC officers whose training, teamwork and quick thinking helped to bring the incident to a swift resolution. Their appropriate and professional handling of the incident helped to prevent further harm to their colleague. These employees represent the everyday heroes whose work helps to make our staff, our offenders and our communities safer.

We also are deeply thankful that the dedicated and beloved employee involved in this traumatic incident did not sustain serious physical injury. We are offering her our support as she addresses the physical, emotional and psychological effects of this shocking event, and we ask members of the news media to respect her privacy.

Peer Action and Care Team and Employee Assistance Program services are being offered to all staff.

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