UMATILLA - A prison officer was attacked by an inmate and slashed in the face Saturday afternoon at Two Rivers Correctional Institution.

The officer, who received a two-inch cut, was treated and released at Good Shepherd Medical Center, according to a press release issued Wednesday.

The attack was the second staff assault in two months at the prison's close supervision housing unit.

On Dec. 26, an officer was jumped by two inmates and beaten, suffering a broken nose, concussion and severe short-term memory loss.

The close supervision unit gets inmates from higher security prisons and monitors them to see if they are ready for release into the general prison population.

"There is a change in their living conditions. This is a period of adjustment for them," said Aleca Nelson, TRCI spokeswoman.

The inmates interact more than before when they were placed in the close supervision unit.

Saturday's assault came after a fight broke out between two inmates in the yard.

When staff quickly moved in, inmate Gary Cavan stopped chasing the other prisoner and went after a prison officer.

Cavan had two weapons: a razor blade set into a comb with boot laces tying it together and a peanut butter jar filled with water and placed in a sock.

Inmates in the close supervision housing unit won't have to worry about running out of shaving cream anymore, due to the attack. They'll be using electric razors only because the "shank" was made with pieces of a regular shaving razor.

"Anything we can do to reduce the opportunities to make weapons, we are going to do. We want them to succeed," Nelson said.

The possibility of an inmate attack, however, is just part of the job for prison officers, Nelson said, adding they're in a dangerous profession, like police or firefighters.

Cavan, 20, was placed into a disciplinary segregated unit at TRCI. He could face Department of Corrections sanctions as well as criminal charges. Oregon State Police is investigating the incident.

Cavan is in prison for first-degree assault, three counts of second-degree assault and inmate with a weapon. His crimes occurred in Multnomah and Malheur counties.

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