Philly prisons to beef up transport security after attack on guard

Courtesy of AFSCME Local 159

A Philadelphia corrections officer is recovering from a concussion after an inmate kicked her as she knelt to pick up his dropped Bible — an incident that is prompting a look at new security measures.

In response to the attack, the Philadelphia Prisons System is reviewing their security policies with a goal of expanding them, officials said.

The attack occurred around noon on Dec. 30 during a routinetransport between correctional facilities.

Inmate Johnathan Hernandez, 20, dropped his Bible as he was exiting a bus transporting him from Curran-Fromhold Correction Facility to a detention center.

When Officer Myriam Robinson, 51, an 11-year veteran of the Department of Corrections, stooped to pick it up, Hernandez kneed her in the face, then kicked her, said Lorenzo North, president of AFSCME Local 159, which represents city corrections officers.

Robinson toppled backwards and hit her head on the pavement. A second officer on the bus was able to quickly secure Hernandez.

“The police said he was planning on taking the bus,” North said of Hernandez.

Robinson, who is off-duty while in recovery, declined to comment on the incident.

Prisons spokeswoman Shawn Hawes confirmed that as a direct result of this attack, new security measures are being explored.

Standard protocols call for two correction officers serving on inmate transportation, with one doubling as driver. She said prison budgets could cover an increase in staffing.

“Unfortunately, in this profession, things like this happen,” Hawes said. “We’re just really happy that she wasn’t severely injured and that nothing else happened.”

North said he thinks adding another officer to inmate transports would help resolve the problem.

“The more officers, the less trouble you have,” he said.

Hernandez, who is listed in court records as a resident of Oklahoma, has not yet been charged with the attack.

More from our Sister Sites