Nurse attacked in the Saginaw County Jail - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Nurse attacked in the Saginaw County Jail

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(10/23/13) - Surveillance cameras at the Saginaw County Jail caught an inmate attacking a nurse. It happened last Sunday.

That nurse is still recovering.

The sheriff says he is always concerned about the safety of his staff. It's a staff that has been downsized over the past few years.
The bank robbery suspect who is awaiting trial appeared to be having a seizure when a nurse and a corrections officer went to check on him.

Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel says on average, he has 10 to 12 corrections officers on duty inside the jail, watching over the 525 inmates there.
That's a dozen more than capacity.
Late Sunday afternoon, one of those inmates appeared to be having trouble.

"This individual feigned illness by laying on the floor and shaking which required us to go in and check on his status," Federspiel said.

A nurse who works for Corizon Health Services, the company that has a contract with the county to handle medical care inside the jail, and a deputy went inside the cell to check on the 45-year-old inmate. The nurse believed the man was OK, and started to leave the cell.

"As the nurse turned her back, the inmate jumped up, got her around the neck, grabbed her thermometer, put it to her throat," Federspiel said.

The deputy was knocked to the ground, and two more corrections officers came into the cell to free the nurse and restrain the inmate. The nurse was injured and has been off work since the incident. The attack happened three weeks after budget cuts eliminated one corrections officer in the sheriff's department.

"Still that's one more position that we don't have, our jail is not getting smaller, our population is not getting nicer," Federspiel said.

Federspiel says he is not saying the incident happened because of budget cuts, but he is concerned.

"I have a responsibility to protect my staff as well, and it makes it more difficult as well when I have fewer people to do it," Federspiel says.

The inmate is expected to face additional assault charges soon.

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