Assaults on North Carolina prison personnel had increased this year even before a deadly escape attempt Oct. 12 at Pasquotank Correctional Institute. Two officers, a vocational instructor and a maintenance worker were killed, and four inmates are charged with murder.
Sixty-nine assaults on employees were reported across the state’s 55 prisons as of Nov. 2, compared to an average of 55 per year between 2012 and 2016. The head of the legislative committee likely to shape prison reforms said Thursday that legislators are determined to improve safety, salaries and staffing levels in the wake of the Pasquotank deaths, and a fifth guard killed at a nearby prison earlier this year. The last time a prison worker was killed was 2010. “This is an ongoing commitment to improving,” said Rep. Ted Davis, a New Hanover County Republican who heads the unified legislative committee overseeing public safety. Two correctional officers, a vocational instructor in the prison’s sewing plant and a maintenance worker died, and four inmates are charged with murder in the Pasquotank escape attempt on Oct. 12.