POLKTON — One prisoner is accused of attacking another in a case of inmate-on-inmate violence at Lanseboro Correctional Institution over the weekend.
State prison officials say an inmate was assaulted with a “homemade weapon” around 8:42 p.m. Sunday while they were being moved for recreational time. The injured inmate was taken to an undisclosed “local hospital” for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
The incident is being investigated by the Polkton Police Department and the N.C. Department of Public Safety.
While no other prisoners or staff were injured in the weekend incident, an officer was assaulted in April when responding to attack on an inmate.
That was at least the second attack at Lanesboro this year where officers were injured, and the Charlotte Observer has called it “one of North Carolina’s most dangerous and understaffed prisons.”
WBTV in Charlotte reported that two guards were attacked by inmates on Feb. 20.
Four inmates were injured in two fights in July 2016, but not officers were injured. Later that year, four staff members — including two officers — were hospitalized after being stabbed and two others were assaulted with a broom handle. Another officer was attacked by an inmate in February of that year.
According to figures from the DPS Division of Adult Correction, the number of inmate-on-staff infractions more than doubled from 2013 to 2017. There were 31 total infractions against staff (30 with a weapon, one with sexual intent) in 2013 and 77 (74 with a weapon, three with sexual intent) in 2017.
“Assault infractions are assigned after an incident involving an assault,” according to DPS spokesman Jerry Higgins. “For example, if two inmates attack a staff member, both individuals carrying out the assault may be charged with one or more infractions. Thus, while only one assault has occurred, our database would reflect two or more assaults for the single incident.
“So, one infraction does not necessarily equal one assault,” he continued. “The infraction data is collected and tracked for the purposes of inmate disciplinary records, not to record individual assaults. We are currently evaluating our systems and will be making changes to ensure that we are able to track assaults more accurately in 2018 and beyond.”
Lanesboro opened in 2004 adjacent to Brown Creek Correctional Institution, which had been open since 1993. The two prisons were merged in the summer of 2016. The total inmate capacity is 1,850.
Earlier this year, state prison officials announced that Lanesboro will be converted to a women’s facility and will be renamed Anson Correctional Institution.
The minimum custody unit (formerly Brown Creek) will still house male inmates.