By John Green
Special to The Hays Daily News
In response to a nurse being allegedly sexually assaulted in Hutchinson Correctional Facility's Central Unit last summer, the prison has ordered new alarm pendants for the contract nurses to wear.
"When something happens, they push a button on the pendant and it sounds an alarm," said Dirk Moss, public information officer at the prison.
Each alarm system also has an identifier, so the prison control center knows whose alarm is sounding.
"The system has been ordered, but it's not been installed," Moss said. He wasn't sure when it was expected to be received and installed.
So, in the interim, the prison has distributed to all contract employees in the prison radios that also have an alarm feature and identifier.
"Basically it's the same thing as the alarm pendant," Moss said. "They push a button on the radio, and it transmits an alarm tone, and there's a radio number that shows up in the control center so they know which alarm was activated."
The facility provided all 116 contract workers in the facility the alarm radios starting about two months ago. Prior to that, only corrections officers had the radios.
The plan is to only provide the alarm pendants to the nurses, however, so they don't have to carry around radios, Moss said.
He couldn't provide details on the alleged attack, since it remains an active investigation, Moss said, but he was unaware of any other changes the prison was making as a result.
"After an incident, we always do a review," he said. "We're not changing any other procedures."
"Normally it's like a regular (medical) clinic, with people all over the place," Moss said. "There are other nurses and physician assistants, other medical staff in there. We have an officer assigned to the clinic as well."
Prosecutors charged Steven Stumpner, 28, with rape or an alternate count of aggravated sexual battery for the incident, which occurred July 17 at the prison. Stumpner appeared last week before Magistrate Judge Randy McEwen, who set the case on the Jan. 7 waiver-status docket.
Stumpner is serving time for two counts each of aggravated robbery and theft out of Johnson County, and a conviction of battery of a corrections officer in Pawnee County.