Officers assaulted at Marion County Jail II during partial power outage

The Daily Reformer

INDIANAPOLIS — During this past weekend’s partial power outage at Marion County Jail II, two employees of CoreCivic, the private operator of the facility, were assaulted. However, the Marion County sheriff said those attacks were not related to the outage emergency.

This past weekend’s power failure marked the second time in five weeks that electricity has gone out wholly or partially at the jail on East Washington Street.

Three assaults were recorded in reports filed Sunday night, more than 24 hours after the alleged attacks occurred.

In one assault, an inmate was named as a victim.

In the other two cases, staff members — one male, one female — were assaulted, and one report was titled, “Aggravated Assault-Disarming an Officer Threatening/Using Weapon.”

Neither CoreCivic or MCSO would provide any details into the assaults.

MCSO said the address listed on the assault reports of 730 East Market Street — which is the former Arrestee Processing Center behind Jail II — was in error.

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A sheriff’s investigator wrote those reports.

CoreCivic and MCSO both told FOX59 that inmates were not moved to the APC during the power outage which affected two housing units in the five-story Jail II, and that the inmates were back in their assigned units several hours later on Saturday night.

There has been no explanation for Saturday’s power outage, only that it has been repaired.

Last week, Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal told City-County councilors that an internal report found CoreCivic was unprepared for a 90-minute-long total blackout that happened during the early morning hours of February 22 due to weather conditions and the failure of a backup generator.

28 inmates were injured either in accidents or assaults as corrections officers could enter the housing units in the dark.

“They agreed this is something they should have prepared for,” Forestal told FOX59 on Friday, one day before the most recent power outage. “I think in the report the conclusion was additional staff may have helped that. Also they were not prepared to have flashlights. Even without the electronic kick-on, we actually brought our emergency flashlights from here to there.

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“It’s an obvious oversight on their part because they considered that the engineers said the generator will never fail. Well, we’ve had that, we’ve seen that, obviously that’s not true, so they needed to be prepared with the additional lights to put their people in that predicament.”

As a result of the MCSO report, CoreCivic also agreed to install emergency lighting and provide batteries to operate cameras and monitors during a blackout.

While rejecting a request for an on-camera interview Monday and access to observe the improvements undertaken at Jail II after the February power outage, CoreCivic referred once again to a top MCSO commander’s statement that the sheriffs office has “100% faith” in the jail’s private operator.

MCSO refused a FOX59 request for an on-camera interview to confirm whether Sheriff Forestal still has 100% faith in CoreCivic, and instead passed on a request to the operator that it make a spokesperson available to answer questions about the latest power outage, the assaults and the improvements inside the facility.

Fox 59

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