Stab-proof vests bring added layer of protection for Tift jailer - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Stab-proof vests bring added layer of protection for Tift jailers

(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
The sheriff's office has confiscated dozens of items like this from inmates (Source: WALB) The sheriff's office has confiscated dozens of items like this from inmates (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
Gene Scarbrough (Source: WALB) Gene Scarbrough (Source: WALB)
Devin Butler (Source: WALB) Devin Butler (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The Tift County Sheriff's Office recently purchased new protective vests for detention officers.

The vests are stab-resistant and designed to protect vital organs from an attack.

In the past five years, the office has confiscated more than 100 everyday objects that inmates have turned into weapons.

Detention officer Devin Butler said he faces the threat of getting attacked by one of these makeshift weapons every day. 

"Sometimes inmates make shanks, different objects. Sometimes to use them,m sometimes to protect themselves," Butler said.

It's why he said safety is so important.

"Just the way we come in is the way we need to leave each and every day," he said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, correctional officers have one of the highest rates of non-fatal, work related injuries. In the past five years, six Tift County detention officers have been assaulted by inmates.

"It's one too many," said Sheriff Gene Scarbrough.

That is one of the reasons why the Tift County Sheriff's Office purchased stab resistant vests. 

"When they're here we want them safe. We don't want it to be something we could have avoided by a small investment like this," Scarbrough said.

It's a small investment Butler said is already making a big difference.

"We went all this while without them but it's definitely a plus to have them now," Butler said.

"If something else comes on the market that'll help keep our people safe and guard against the evils of society then that's what we do," said Scarbrough.

The vests were purchased using funds collected for inmate services.

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