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Marathon County study panel continues work on jail security, watches attack video


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) - Officials from the Marathon County jail have released video of the attack that sent a corrections officer to the hospital.

Members of the Jail Safety study panel saw how the attack on Julie Christensen took place today. Accused suspect Frederick Morris strikes officer Christensen in the head and then starts to fight with other officers. Inmates inside of the cell block can be seen chanting down at the fight while it's taking place.

Interim chief deputy Chad Billeb says changes have already been made inside the jail, and that efforts from the study panel are helping. "We're going back over policies, some of which have been in place for 20 years."

Former Rothschild police chief Bill Schremp says that's a major issue. "On the average it's been at least 10 years since any of these policies were reviewed. The used of force policy was last updated in 1997." Billeb acknowledged that, and members added a policy review to their full set of plans.

Also on the docket will be another tour of jail facilities, specifically the laundry area of the jail. As it stands right now, that area of the jail is unsecured, and trusted inmates are the ones doing the laundry. Billeb says they could walk out of the jail facilities if they wished to, or hide things in the laundry before it goes back to the jail. That area came up in the jail's last inspection.

The panel will return to work on May 28th. They are scheduled to speak with an inspector with the Department of Corrections as well as one of the judges from Marathon County.