Jail attack surveillance video released - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Jail attack surveillance video released

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MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -

We're getting a first look at surveillance video from the Marathon County jail attack. In March authorities say 20-year old Fredrick Morris assaulted two corrections officers. Officer Julie Christensen was critically injured.

On Tuesday, four Marathon County jail panelists watched the attack on corrections officer Christensen. As the attack played out on the screen, the room fell silent.

"What brought this panel together is ultimately what occurred on that video. So, that's why they're all here so they can get a better understanding," Chief Deputy Chad Billeb said.

The surveillance video shows three corrections officers trying to get the inmates back into their cells. Authorities say that's when inmate, Fredrick Morris, became combative and hit Christensen in the face, knocking her unconscious. Newsline 9 has chosen not to show the exact moment the assault took place.

"This just really brought it home so they (the panelists) knew why we are all here and why this is so important," Billeb explained.

After the attack happened Marathon County appointed five community members to a panel to study jail security. So far, that panel has met three times. But this time was different.

"Our hope is that within the community of the corrections officer that work in the jail they can see a serious effort being formed," jail panelist Paul Jones said.

During the meeting panel members also discussed jail staffing, inmate population, and updating old equipment.

"We're getting a lot of unique ideas that normally we wouldn't have thought of from the panel and then we are taking those ideas and sharing them with our staff," Billed said.

Even though a lot of work remains, panel members say they're making progress.

"No one on this panel would be taking time out of their daily lives to do this if we didn't all believe in success," Jones said.

The panel plans to present safety recommendations to the Marathon County sheriff by July.

So situations like this don't happen again.

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