To the Editor:
Tragically a corrections officer at USP Canaan, high security federal prison, was killed in a vicious attack by an inmate at the prison February 25th.
This shook bedrock emotional foundations for many miles around in Northeastern PA, well beyond the community of Waymart which is barely two miles from USP Canaan. Many of us have relatives and friends employed at this prison, as well as active and retired employees of nearby State Correctional Institution - Waymart, also only a couple of miles away.
Our community lives with these facilities knowing, at one level, the risks. Our community is experienced, in the case of SCI Waymart and a predecessor, Farview State Hospital, a maximum secure psychiatric hospital for over 100 years, and now USP Canaan since 2005.
An officer was murdered in the line of duty while performing his responsibilities to society, an horrific event that had not happened in the federal system for 25 years and never before at this facility or neighboring SCI - Waymart. Even more tragic, an officer, who was on duty that night, committed suicide a few days later.
We can only speculate how he felt and, many others continue to feel. The depth of emotions among the USP staff, families and people of the community at large cannot be adequately put into words by this writer. We need to support them and say thank-you.