My father worked for 25 years at Lansing Correctional Facility. He suffered two injuries in his first five-to-seven years there, a broken wrist and a slash near his eye. But I was too young to remember much about those events.
May 22, 1993. A Saturday. Dad was off, and in the afternoon, he was probably at his parents' house. I heard the phone ring, and answered it. One of our church deacons asked if dad was at work. No... He'd heard that something had happened at the prison.
Two guards had been ambushed by a dozen inmates and attacked with sacks of barbell weights and pool balls. Seriously injured.
On that day, like no other day in my life, I realized that my dad had a dangerous job...And there was always a chance (although a small one) that one day he might not come home.
Seven guards have died in the line of duty at Lansing. The last of them was Mark Avery, one of the guards attacked that afternoon. He died of his injuries the following day, 22 years ago today.