The California state prison in Chino had more than 300 stab-proof vests in storage when a guard was knifed to death allegedly by an inmate Monday, says the Los Angeles Times. A union official said a vest might have saved the officer’s life. Officials had decided not to distribute most of the vests until they had enough to outfit all of the correctional officers, about 900, in part because of union concerns about providing unequal protection to the officers, a prison spokesman said.
Yesterday, vests were given to correctional officers who patrol the maximum- and medium-security wings of the prison, three days after the slaying of Manuel Gonzalez, 43, a married father of six and a guard for 16 years. Under that criterion, Gonzalez would have received a vest. Officials suspect that an inmate serving a 75-year sentence for the attempted murder of a police officer stabbed Gonzalez with a handmade weapon.