Hazelton inmate assaults officer after lockdown

HAZELTON — An inmate kicked an officer and attempted to punch another staff member Saturday at USP Hazelton.

It was the second day in a row of inmate violence against officers, according to Rick Heldreth, president of Local 420 of the American Federation of Government Employees. The federal penitentiary was placed on lockdown Friday after four staff members received minor injuries in an incident at the high-security penitentiary.

Last year three inmates were killed by other inmates at the facility, and workers were attacked in other incidents.

Employees say the violence is aided by federal policies not to fill correctional officer vacancies.

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