Correctional Officer Jayme Biendl Murdered, Make Sure It Doesn't Happen Again
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Work should not be a life threatening endeavor and employers should do everything in their power to make each and every workplace as safe as possible. This is especially true when a concern has been raised about a particular issue.
Unfortunately, the Washington State Department of Corrections knew about a safety concern, but didn't do anything about it, and now a correctional officer is dead. Jayme Biendl worked for the Department of Corrections for 9 years. On January 29th, 2011 she was on duty in the Chapel at the Monroe Correctional Complex when it is suspected that an inmate murdered her. She was 34.
The worst of it is, Biendl had complained earlier that she felt unsafe in the Chapel because she was alone and there weren't cameras. Unfortunately this issue wasn't fixed in time to prevent Biendl's death. There are simple things the Departmet of Corrections can do to help stop tragedies like this in the future: better training programs for guards, giving Corrections Officers personal panic buttons and mace, and, perhaps most importantly, giving Correctional Officers the chance to tell the Department of Corrections what they think needs to be fixed.
There are important safety changes that have been reccomended to the Department of Corrections after an investigation by the independent National Institute of Corrections. Write to The Washington Governor Christie Gregoire and ask to sign the bill that was unanimously approved by both the state House and state Senate.
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