SHIRLEY, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A female corrections officer was assaulted at Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley Tuesday afternoon, the prison said in a release.
They said the assault happened as staff were dispensing medication to inmates around noon.
"A female correction officer was assaulted with an unknown liquid by an inmate through the food slot of his door," Massachusetts Department of Correctoins Deputy Director of Communications Jason Dobson wrote in the statement. "The female officer was forcibly grabbed by the inmate while trying to secure the food slot, but she was able to pull free."
Then, Dobson said, the prisoner lit items in his cell on fire, causing an emergency response from the Lancaster Fire Department. The inmate was taken from his cell and the fire was extinguished.
The officer and the inmate are both being treated at nearby hospitals. Dobson said inmates in nearby cells were being treated for smoke inhalation by the prison's medical staff.
The facility was not in lockdown following the incident, which is still under investigation.
It's the latest in a string of recent incidents that have brought conditions in the prison into the news. On January 10, three guards were injured—one seriously—in an attack by a group of inmates that forced the maximum-facility into lockdown.
Following that attack, several inmates claimed in a lawsuit that prison staff have restricted their access to their legal counsel, confiscated paperwork, limited their time outside their cells, and even physically abused them, all allegedly in retaliation for the January 10 assault.
WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports