Governor, lawmakers to address 3 inmate attacks on guards at Utah prisons

Feb 6, 2023, 7:13 PM | Updated: Feb 7, 2023, 6:03 am

SALT LAKE CITY — The maximum-security unit at the Utah State Prison remained closed to visitors Monday after an inmate attacked a correctional officer on Saturday. It was the third attack in two weeks.

“This is a very serious concern, not just for the legislature, but it should be a concern for every citizen,” said Sen. Curtis Bramble, R-Provo.

The latest incident happened Saturday in the Antelope housing unit. The officer was taken to a hospital but released a short time later.

On Jan. 31, another correctional officer was attacked in the same unit.

The Department of Corrections released a statement Saturday that said, “A correctional officer was assaulted in the Antelope restricted housing unit at the Utah State Correctional Facility. The officer was treated at a nearby hospital and was released later that evening.”

“We have to understand why these incidents are occurring,” Bramble said. “Right now, we’re doing a deep dive. We’re trying to identify exactly what is the problem — is it funding? Is it staffing? Is it a culture within the Department of Corrections? Is it isolated to a couple areas that have common thread with supervision?”

As the Utah Legislature considers more funding for the Department of Corrections to address safety concerns at the Utah State Prison, Bramble worries it won’t solve the problem.

“All the money in the world can’t change problems if those problems are systemic based on the culture or based on the policies and procedures that an organization has,” he said.

On Monday, Gov. Spencer Cox released this statement:

Safety and security at our Corrections facilities remain of utmost importance and these security breaches are unacceptable. Corrections leadership is fully investigating these recent incidents and will reexamine safety protocols and staffing levels to protect our officers and the incarcerated Utahns in their care. We’re heartened that staffing levels have improved over the past two months. We are reviewing all aspects of our operations to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Bramble said, “We don’t know enough right now. Other than the incidents, we don’t know why it’s happening. We need to figure out why it’s occurring before we can try to propose a solution.”

The Department of Corrections said it will revisit opening the Antelope Housing Facility to visitors on Tuesday.

KSL 5 TV Live


Salt Lake City police say two people have died in a workplace shooting Sunday afternoon. (Salt Lake...

Shelby Lofton and Mark Jones

Two people dead in a workplace shooting, Salt Lake City police say

Salt Lake City police said two people have died in a workplace shooting Sunday afternoon.

6 hours ago

lights on top of a police vehicle in the dark...

Mary Culbertson

1 teen critical after gun fired in McDonald’s parking lot

One teenager is in critical condition after a gun went off inside a car, hitting the teen.

11 hours ago

yellow tape crossing blue and red lights...

Associated Press

Body parts of 2 people found in Long Island park and police are trying to identify them

Police on New York's Long Island were trying to identify human remains found in a popular suburban park that appear to be from a man and a woman.

2 days ago

Pair of handcuffs on a black bacthroom...

Alexander Campbell

Washington County man calls police on self, gets arrested for stolen firearms

A teenager is off the streets after calling in to St. George Police and giving them his approximate location Friday, leading to a guns-drawn arrest.

2 days ago

Two victims in a Hit-and-run in Sugarhouse speak to KSL News on Friday. (Emma Benson, KSL News)...

Emma Benson

Sugar House hit and run victims speak out

Two Sugar House women are speaking out after they were involved in a hit-and-run.

2 days ago

A picture of the dead, Provo Police officer Joseph Shinners, that was being used in the courtroom o...

Emily Ashcraft,

Attorneys urge jury to consider intent in trial for man accused of murdering Provo officer

The trial for the man accused of murdering Joseph Shinners began Friday. Matt Hoover's attorneys said he meant to shoot himself that fateful day, not Shinners.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Governor, lawmakers to address 3 inmate attacks on guards at Utah prisons