Jackson County corrections officer seriously injured by prisoner - KCTV5 News

Jackson County corrections officer seriously injured by prisoner

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Johnny R. Dunlap (KCTV) Johnny R. Dunlap (KCTV)

A Jackson County corrections officer was left with life-threatening injuries after being assaulted by a prisoner.

According to the Kansas City Police Department, officers went to a local hospital at 9:39 p.m. on Wednesday after receiving the call about the assault.

When officers arrived, they talked to a Jackson County Corrections supervisor who said that a corrections officer had been assaulted in the Regional Corrections Center by a prisoner.

Court records say that the inmate was in Pod C at 1300 Cherry when the assault happened.

Surveillance video and witness statements said the prisoner assaulted the corrections officer with a variety of things, including a plastic cone, for several minutes.

The corrections officer is in critical condition with life-threatening injuries. He has fractured facial and nasal bones, and is suffering from a brain bleed. He was unconscious for the majority of the assault, which lasted about eight minutes. 

The inmate, 20-year-old Johnny R. Dunlap, has been charged with first-degree assault against a corrections officer and armed criminal action. Prosecutors have requested a $250,000 bond. The charges could carry a punishment up to life in prison, according to the Jackson County Prosecutor.

The investigation is ongoing.

The detention center was labeled “a crisis” in an audit in August. The audit said the understaffed jail put guards and inmates in a dangerous environment. It has been the focus of several investigations before and is under a microscope for previous vicious attacks.

Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. issued a statement following the assault: 

Our corrections officers are dedicated, hard-working professionals, who have the difficult job of ensuring the safety and welfare of inmates. They are an important component of our criminal justice system. I admire the work they do to keep our community safe and they deserve to be treated with respect. As I’ve stated numerous times, the safety and security of our corrections officers will always be of utmost importance.

My administration and I take these assaults very seriously. Such violent behavior by inmates toward our corrections officers will not be tolerated. It is our hope that the person responsible for this assault will be held accountable and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the corrections officer who was injured in this assault. We are fully committed to supporting the corrections officer and his family throughout this difficult process.

 In September, after releasing video of a different assault against another corrections officer, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said, "It angers me. I'm telling you. I am angered by it."

Four inmates have been charged in that Aug. 26 attack. 

For months, KCTV5 News has talked to whistleblowers and former inmates.

One woman said another inmate snuck into her cell to rape her. "I was asleep and woken up," the victim said, "and he was having sex with me and I was trying to fight back."

Dontae Jefferson has been charged with rape, burglary, and sex abuse in connection with that case.

A raid at the jail and a federal indictment revealed even more issues that whistleblowers discussed with KCTV5 News in June.

"It would be very easy to smuggle anything into that jail," one of the whistleblowers said. 

Two Jackson County corrections officers have been charged with corruption and accused of a bribery scheme to smuggle in contraband. 

In October of last year, KCTV5 News also spoke to a former corrections officer who wanted to sound the alarm about unsafe conditions at the jail. 

"One guy will prop open his door and then go to another inmate and help him prop his door open," they said in the interview. "They go from there." "You don't know when your life is going to be taken," they said. "You are in there with hardened criminals. You never know when they may have a bad day and just take you out."

Fast forward to August of this year when auditor Jim Rowenhorst told county leaders that he found two officers trying to supervise more than 130 inmates.

He called it an impossible task.

Related articles:

Auditor says Jackson County Jail is ‘a crisis’

4 inmates charged after brutal attack on Jackson County Detention Center guard

Jackson County inmates sue over jail conditions

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