Guard cites prison staff cuts for attack

PENDLETON – A prison guard who was beaten by an inmate claims she was made vulnerable to attack by staffing cuts at the Pendleton Correctional Facility.

Brandi Gilland said she was attacked about 11 p.m. Dec. 21 by an inmate who may have been irate because she had previously confiscated his MP3 player. She fended off her attacker with pepper spray and used her keys to escape the locked 48-cell unit. The 30-year-old Daleville woman suffered a black eye and split lips.

She said she was considering a lawsuit against the Department of Correction.

Gilland told the Herald Bulletin of Anderson that recent changes in procedure due to reduced staffing have made the 1,900-inmate maximum-security prison unsafe.

Prison Superintendent Brett A. Mize, however, said the prison staff of 347 is only eight fewer than a year ago, and that includes 298 guards. Mize said he had received permission to hire 11 more officers and two additional sergeants, who are expected to start in mid-January



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