Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

BOP Guard Killed

A report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution states that the US penitentiary in Atlanta is the most dangerous federal prison in the country with five prisoners killed in a year. During a May, 1994, tour by BOP director Kathleen Hawk, one prisoner stabbed and killed another. Prison guards have complained that they are in danger of being assaulted because the assault rate at Atlanta is 33 per 1,000 prisoners, three times the national BOP average. Of course, this doesn't take into account that a prison's definition of assault includes throwing a tray, spitting, etc. Warden Fred Stock dismisses guards complaints as whining. Everyone knew what they were getting into when they signed up...

On December 22, 1994, several weeks after the above article appeared, D'Antonio Washington, a BOP guard at Atlanta Penitentiary died from head injuries he received from a prisoner. The BOP stated he was the first guard killed at Atlanta in 15 years and the first in the BOP since 1987. The FBI stated that it already had a suspect but did not identify him until such time as he was indicted by a grand jury. No reason was given for Washington's killing.

Kevin Blaylock, a spokesman for the American Federation of Government Employees, the guards' union, blamed the incident on inadequate staffing and dangerous conditions. He stated that prison management had not done enough to prevent weapons from falling into prisoners' hands. Here at PLN we contrasted this response, that prison officials were responsible for not taking steps to prevent Washington's death, etc. with the response surrounding the murder of Jeffrey Dahmer at a Wisconsin prison.

On November 28, 1994, Dahmer was clubbed to death with a broomstick by another prisoner. Dahmer was serving 15 life sentences for the killing, cannibalism and necrophilia of 17 young men and boys. Michael Sullivan, the director of the Wisconsin DOC told media: AThe taxpayers can't afford 100 percent safety in the prisons. There is an understanding in prisons that staffs far outnumbered by inmates and that means that we cannot guarantee anyone's absolute safety 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login