By Christine Kim & Corey Allen-Young
Channel 2 News
3:27 PM AKDT, September 7, 2012
After one of their own was assaulted by an inmate at the Anchorage Corrections Complex Wednesday night, the Alaska Correctional Officer Association says staffing cuts and a change to their work schedule are to blame.
The Department of Corrections says an inmate attacked 26 year old correctional officer Sean Winslow. Correctional officials won't go into details about the incident but the Alaska Correctional Officer Association (ACOA) says switching shifts from 12 hours to 8 hours lowers the amount of staff that are available to deal with inmates and affects the amount of training down for new officers.
Just a few years ago a legislative audit called for additional officers in institutions. Correctional officer Matt Houser who has been working for the state for over ten years says the new blended schedule plan puts officers in dangerous situations just like the injured Winslow who just started working in June.
"We've come out and said, the union has that we've warned them continually since the staffing cuts and since the blended shift staffing that this type of incident was going to increase and it has and its going to again," said Houser."
Department Of Corrections Special Assistant Richard Schmitz says staffing was at required levels at the time of the incident and since the new blended schedule started in May, Winslow is the only officer that has been assaulted by an inmate.
ACOA says Winslow has been released from the hospital but is still recovering.
Alaska State Troopers say his wounds are serious but not life threatening.
The investigation into the incident continues.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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