The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a possible assault after a female guard at the Jackson County Detention Center was hospitalized after reportedly being attacked by an inmate.
The alleged assault occurred about noon Thursday at the jail in downtown Kansas City.
According to authorities, the guard suffered injuries to her face. She was taken to the emergency room for treatment and later released.
Officials in the Jackson County executive’s office said in a statement the incident was immediately reported to the sheriff’s office.
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“We are aware of an incident that occurred involving one of our corrections officers,” the statement read. “We immediately reported it to the Sheriff’s Office who is investigating, as the safety and security of our staff is always our top priority. The officer involved was treated at a local hospital and has been released. Because this is an ongoing investigation, we can’t comment further.”
The dilapidated jail has been under scrutiny recently. Just last week, two guards, a jail inmate and an alleged fixer on the outside were charged in two separate schemes to smuggle cellphones, cigarettes and other contraband into the jail.
The arrests were the latest outgrowth of a two-year federal investigation that initially focused on guards’ use of excessive force on inmates. Five former guards were accused of brutalizing prisoners in those cases. Four are awaiting trial, and charges against the fifth former guard were dismissed after two trials ended in hung juries.
Security concerns at the jail were heightened last summer after two women reported being raped inside the jail by male inmates who were able to roam free for hours in the middle of the night.
County officials have since hired three sets of consultants to evaluate all aspects of the facility and operations.