ST. CLAIR COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - An officer is recovering after being stabbed by a St. Clair County prison inmate.
A correctional officer was stabbed at St. Clair Correctional Facility around 12:30 a.m. Monday morning while trying to break up a fight between two inmates.
The officer sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was treated offsite. The officer was reportedly stabbed by a makeshift knife.
The facility was placed on lockdown, and the cellblock was secured.
The names of the officer and the suspect in the stabbing have not been released.
Investigators are looking into what caused the inmates to fight and the prison will remain on lockdown until the investigation is complete.
The prisoners who were involved in the fight have been segregated from the rest of the inmate population.
Sen. Cam Ward, an advocated for criminal justice reform, said the stabbing is a "pattern that's been going on for years now" and called it a tragic example of the consequence of overcrowded prisons.
"You can't continue to operate a system that is so overcrowded with so few officers in charge of security and expect there to be true public safety in our corrections system. And it's not the fault of the officers. The fault lies with the system that is terribly overcrowded," Ward said.
Ward said the officer-to-inmate ratio in Alabama is much higher than the national average.
Legislation is currently pending to build four new, modern prisons. Ward said the new prisons will help alleviate overcrowding and promote officer safety.