Winslow prison attack update: Workers insist staffing is dangerously low

PHOENIX - A female corrections officer was viciously attacked at the Winslow prison Friday.

Since our report, our phone lines have lit up, mainly from prison workers upset about staffing levels and what they call the manipulation of the staffing numbers by top prison officials.

"It was a dangerous place," said Bill who used to work in the Kaibab unit with the officer who was assaulted. "We all knew something bad was going to happen."

Prison officials say 167 security staff members were watching 788 inmates at the time of the attack. But Bill and several other workers tell us that number would have to include all staff, in all parts of the prison during all shifts. They each independently insist that the actual number was closer to 20.

"There has never ever been 167 staff in that unit at one time, never!" said Bill.

Several other staffers backed up Bill's story but asked not to be identified. And they tell us the inmates are really in charge behind bars, led by several gangs.

Bill left the Winslow prison last year because he said it was too dangerous.

He says people work in such a dangerous place to get a paycheck and benefits.

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