Spike in Violence at Ann Klein Forensic Center Leaves Officers in Fear for Life
By Mel Fabrikant Monday, October 07, 2013, 02:32 PM EDT
Over the past thirty days, three Medical Security officers have been assaulted at Ann Klein Forensic Center located in Trenton, New Jersey. In addition to carrying out their daily duties of providing security and protection for the residents and staff at Ann Klein, Medical Security Officers are now in constant fear for their own lives.
The most recent incident occurred Wednesday evening October 2, 2013. A resident severely beat a medical security officer while in the yard during fresh air break. The officer was hospitalized with broken bones, a concussion, and a severe nose injury and the inmate underwent reevaluation.
On September 6, two officers were assaulted by a patient being transported from the facility to a local hospital. The resident acquired some type of contraband which allowed him to be able to free himself from his hand cuffs and shackles. Once released, he assaulted both officers before they received assistance from nearby personnel at the receiving facility.
"Those officers recognize that it was by the grace of a higher power that they barely escaped serious injury or worse death. They understand now more than ever that they desperately need additional training to not only be able to protect themselves, but others when these incidents occur, and they will. Our commitment is to work with the administration to find preventative, proactive solutions to anticipate these actions prior to their occurrence," stated Sherryl Gordon Executive Director AFSCME NJ Council 1.
Steven Jones a Senior Medical Security Officer , acknowledged "It is our intent to seek solutions to this specific issue before any additional hurt, harm or even death can come to any residents and staff, including Security Officers . While the incidents have occurred over a number of months, it now needs immediate attention.”
The forensic community is a reflection of the New Jersey greater community at large. Its population is a microcosm of New Jersey and requires comprehensive strategies to ensure that the much needed services are delivered in a safe, secure and therapeutic environment.