LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - At the Fayette County Detention Center, understaffing has little to do with pay and fatigue, but a lot to do with a lack of respect.
A Fayette County Corrections Officer is speaking about concerns he has with how inmates treat corrections workers. (WKYT)
WKYT Investigates sat down with a current corrections officer at FCDC. He didn't want anyone to know who he was, for protection. He's been a correctional officer with the facility for almost two decades.
"We're understaffed, we've had more inmate-officer assaults than any time I've seen."
FCDC has 278 correctional officer positions, and only 236 are currently filled. One officer oversees 96 inmates in general population, and one officer watches 64 inmates in the special segregation units. "We feel like if the public knows, it has to be addressed." the corrections officer said. "We can't keep people. We have people quitting daily."
He said the reason is the job has turned from controlling the jail population to the jail population controlling the officers.
"It takes a strong person to get spit on or get feces thrown on you and you still stay there and maintain your professionalism and do your job."
The corrections officer said if an inmate were to spit at an officer or throw bodily fluids, that would be a charge on the inmate, and they'd be sent to what he calls "the hole." That punishment leads to no visits or phone calls.
"But now it's to the point, 'Well why did he spit on you? What did you say to make him spit on you? What did you do to provoke that?' And you're doing you're job, and now you're sitting there like, 'Ok, I'm doing my job. I got feces thrown on me and so now you are going to ask me 'what did I do to provoke that?'
He continued, "When you get assaulted to the place where you have to be taken out by an ambulance, something has to be done about the safety and security of the CO's at the Fayette County Detention Center."
He also said gangs aren't helping. There are three different gangs in jail right now. Those in gangs, he explained, believe if they hit an officer, they move up in the gang.
The Fayette County Detention Center didn't respond to our request for comment.