COLUMBUS -- An inmate at the Trumbull Correctional Institution punched Monica Meade in the face multiple times and tried to throw her off a second-floor balcony at the prison.
"It was a pretty traumatic event that happened to me there," she said.
Jeffrey Cavendish was attacked by a inmate who didn't want to leave the dining area at the Noble Correctional Institution.
"I had blood coming out of my nose...," he said. "... They diagnosed me with a concussion, whiplash, facial contusions and lower lumbar sprain."
Both incidents prompted hospital visits and weeks or months of time off the job for the two prison guards.
On Thursday, both were at the Ohio Statehouse for a press conference urging lawmakers to hire more corrections officers to help reduce the number of violent inmate attacks that occur in prisons.
"... Please take that into consideration, what we have to go through every day, what we have to face every day and the things that we have to deal with in order to keep safety and secure our own institutions," Meade said.
The guards appeared on behalf of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, the union representing about 8,500 prison staffers, which is calling on lawmakers, as part of ongoing budget deliberations, to hire an additional 400 prison officers.
The group said Thursday that 89 corrections officers would be added to prisons under language included in mid-biennium legislation being considered in the Ohio House. But, the union said, the state has cut more than 800 positions since 2007.
While acknowledging an overall decline in the numbers of inmate assaults on staff, the group said the number of more serious physical assaults remains too high.
There were 46 assaults statewide last year that led to time off work for prison staff, said Chris Mabe, a former prison guard who serves as president of the union group, said
"Without an increase in staff, our members will continue to get injured regardless of sentencing reform, regardless of facilities' security level, regardless of the recidivism rate and regardless of the amount of inmate programming," Mabe said in a released statement. "This issue must be addressed now. We are at a boiling point."
State prisons director Gary Mohr told the Ohio House finance committee earlier this week that there were more than 50,000 inmates housed in state prisons, with projections for growth over the next two year.
The mid-biennium budget package includes funding to reopen units at a couple of prisons and increase staff at the Toledo prison that has had issues with inmate violence.
Mohr said more than 40 percent of inmates are serving sentences of less than 12 months, and state prison officials are working to shift more offenders into community control settings. The mid-biennium budget package includes about $12.7 million for halfway house and other locations.