ALLOUEZ - Two Green Bay Correctional Institution workers were stabbed and beaten by an inmate Wednesday, and a third was injured while trying to break up the fight.
All three were treated at a Green Bay hospital and released, Brown County sheriff's officials said.
The incident is the second time in the past year that multiple prison staffers have needed hospital treatment after an attack by an inmate. And it has a state lawmaker renewing a call for increased staffing at GBCI and facilities like it.
"Statewide, we're probably 500 (corrections officers) short of where we should be," state Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, said Wednesday. He said under-staffing continues to force prisons into requiring guards to work significant overtime to staff the state's institutions.
Brown County sheriff's officials weren't releasing much information on Wednesday's incident or the victims, but officials said the institution was temporarily locked down after the attack. It was reported at 9:49 a.m.
The inmate, who officials would not identify, suffered minor cuts. He refused treatment, said sheriff's spokesman Scott Semb.
Investigators plan to refer the case to prosecutors this week for possible charges.
State records show that Wisconsin's adult inmates committed 245 assaults on prison staff and attempted 58 others in the fiscal year that ended in July 2014, the most recent for which figures were available. Thirty-three guards and other prison workers were injured in those incidents according to a report from the state department of corrections.
GBCI, which opened in 1898, houses about 1,100 inmates, according to its 2014 annual report. That's almost 47 percent above its listed capacity of 749.
The prison has a staff of 379. About 256 of those are corrections officers.
An attack at the facility last Sept. 8 also left three staffers injured — two of them seriously enough to require hospital treatment. Online court records show that inmate James Luke, now housed at the Waupun Correctional Facility, faces five felony and two misdemeanor charges in the incident.
The case is pending; Luke is scheduled for a hearing in Brown County Circuit Court on July 11.
Corrections Officer Denis O'Neill was honored by the state for saving the life of a prison psychologist in the Luke attack. Hansen said O'Neill suffered a head injury when Luke struck him with a heavy object during the incident, and remains unable to return to work.
"He's the kind of guy the state should be protecting," Hansen said of O'Neill, "by making sure the prisons are adequately staffed and assaults like these are promptly prosecuted."
In mid-July of 2015, GBCI was placed on modified lockdown following a fight involving inmate groups.
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