Your Union's President, John Scearcy, has published the following letter to the Peninsula Daily News in response to comments that were made by a defense attorney about a Local 117 correctional employee who was stabbed at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center last year. The letter, published in the paper on March 20, can be viewed below:
A defense attorney’s recent remarks about a Washington State correctional employee who was attacked and repeatedly stabbed while on duty last year at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center (CBCC) were offensive and warrant a response.
Our state’s correctional employees perform some of the most difficult, dangerous work imaginable. They put their lives on the line to oversee, counsel, nurse, protect, and educate violent offenders, many of whom have committed heinous crimes. The savage strangulation of correctional officer Jayme Biendl by an inmate at the Monroe Correctional Complex in 2011 serves as a tragic reminder of the dangers these workers face every day as they protect our communities and keep all of us safe.
In the incident at CBCC, the assaulted officer was attacked from behind while working at a computer terminal and stabbed multiple times in the head, neck, and face with a 4-inch shank. For Clallam Public Defender, Alex Stalker, to characterize the time the officer spent recovering from his attack as a “paid vacation” is insensitive and irresponsible and does a grave disservice to all correctional employees and their families.