ST. LOUIS — The family of injured corrections officer Christina Nieto is hopeful she will recover from severe injuries to her eyes, face, and other parts of her body. Her family does not know what type of long-term pain she’ll suffer.
Nieto was attacked by an inmate inside the St. Louis County jail in Clayton this week. The first person to interrupt the attack was another inmate.
Her family spoke out Thursday about safety and staffing concerns at the St. Louis County jail. State Rep. Kimberly Ann Collins joined the family in calling for the county to address concerns.
A second corrections officer, Pristina Hanning, reports being attacked on Oct. 9. Attorney Elad Gross is representing Hanning and Nieto and is seeking damages to compensate the corrections officers for their injuries. He cites ongoing staffing shortages as a reason both victims waited for help.
“The response time to get there to make sure they were safe was very long and so both of them suffered some pretty significant injuries,” said Gross.
St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell announced charges against Carnell Robinson for the attack against Nieto. The 19-year-old inmate is charged with assault. If convicted, he could face an enhanced penalty of up to 30 years. Under Missouri law, corrections officers are part of a special victims’ class.
A statement from St. Louis County Executive Sam Page reads:
“I appreciate Clayton Police and Prosecutor Bell moving quickly on this case. This type of behavior cannot be tolerated. Our corrections officers have a difficult job and it is more stressful now with a workforce shortage. I hope the County Council acts on a request by Acting Director Scott Anders to increase pay for our corrections officers so we can better retain and recruit.”