Correctional Deputy Assaulted in Humboldt County Jail; Sheriff Honsal Blames Increasingly Violent Inmates Formerly Placed in State Prisons Being Incarcerated in County Jails
“It has become more and more violent [in the jail] since AB 109,” explained Humboldt County Sheriff Billy Honsal during a press conference today about a recent assault by inmates on a Humboldt County Jail correctional officer. Two inmates allegedly lured Deputy Dillon Huffman into their cell and beat him as he tried to escape on Wednesday, August 9.
Honsal said the deputy was “a good local kid.” He stated, “Here is a guy who treats people with dignity and respect day in and day out and that he is assaulted by these guys– these thugs.”Assaults on correctional officers have skyrocketed in the County since Assembly Bill 109, the Prison Realignment Plan, was put in action in October of 2011, Honsal said. The bill had those convicted of certain types of crimes that formerly would have led to terms in state prison serve their terms in county jails instead.In 2012 there were five assaults on correctional officers in the Humboldt County Jail, he explained. In 2015, there were 36. This year there have been 22 assaults already, Honsal said.Inmate on inmate assaults have also gone up, he explained.
Honsal said he believes that the state of California bears some responsibility for the increasing violence.
He suggests that the government re-establish mental health facilities all over the state. “When your jail is the biggest mental health treatment facility in the County, that’s a problem,” Honsal said. “So let’s try and help [the mentally ill] before they start doing criminal offenses….[The jail] is not a therapeutic environment.”
Having a place for the mentally ill would free up cell space for other criminal offenders. “We’re at our max pretty much right now,” he said.
Video of the entire press conference by Oliver Cory above.
Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office below. Please remember, the information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
On Wednesday August 9, 2017 at about 1920 hours, a correctional deputy Dillon Huffman was assigned to work in a Maximum Security Housing Unit. While conducting his routine cell checks on the 2nd tier he was lured into a cell which house two inmates, Lorence Bailey and Jonah Little.
When Deputy Huffman opened the cell door and partially stepped inside he was savagely attacked by the two inmates. As Deputy Huffman backed out of the cell and attempted to defend himself, the inmates began punching Huffman in the face and body. During the assault Deputy Huffman was able to broadcast enough radio traffic to alert other Correctional Deputies of the assault in progress. Deputy Huffman proceeded to fight for his life for approximately 34 seconds, until backup arrived.
Once responding deputies arrived in the housing unit both inmates immediately laid on the ground and surrendered. They were taken into secured custody where they face disciplinary hearing for their violent behavior. The Sheriff’s office will seek that both Baily and Little be charged with assault on a correctional deputy causing injury. Deputy Huffman was taken to St. Joseph Hospital where he was treated and released for numerous contusions and abrasions from the assault. Deputy Huffman is expected to make a full recovery from his injuries.
Below are the names of the inmates, and what charges were filed with the District Attorney’s Office.
Bailey, Lorence Emmanuel PC 69 PC 182 PC 243 C (1) PC 1203.2 A (2) PC 12022.7 A PC 186.22 B (1) Current In-Custody Charges PC 187 (a) PC 12022 (b)(1) PC 12022.53 (d) PC 240/242 PC 240/242 PC 240/242
Little, Jonah Dale PC 69 PC 182 PC 243 C (1) PC 1203.2 A (2) PC 12022.7 A PC 186.22 B (1) Current In-Custody Charge PC 1203.2
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office.
William Honsal, SHERIFF Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office