Indiana's prisons are experiencing a surge in inmate assaults and attacks on staff -- increases the state prison chief blames largely on overcrowding caused by inadequate funding for new beds.
The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne reports that in the first half of 2009, Indiana's prisons had 514 inmate-on-inmate attacks, 62 of which caused serious injuries. That compares with 719 such attacks, 101 of them with serious injuries, during all of 2008.
Indiana Department of Correction Commissioner Edwin Buss says the shortage of bed space in some state prisons has created a volatile situation.
Indiana houses 27,300 inmates, but between 1,000 and 1,200 new inmates arrive each year.
The DOC has not received funding for new beds or additional guards in years.