TRENTON — A correctional police officer was stabbed several times by an inmate using a 7-inch handmade weapon at the New Jersey State Prison Wednesday night.

NJ PBA Local 105 president William Sullivan said the officer was stabbed in the right shoulder, the left and right shoulders where they meet the neck, the forehead and the nose. There was also swelling on the right side of the officer's face and the eye.

The officer was covered in blood and taken to the jail’s medical facility for treatment, according to Sullivan. He did not disclose the identity of the officer, the inmate or what prompted the stabbing. The inmate had not been charged as of Friday morning.

The state Department of Corrections on Friday morning did not respond to our request for comment about the stabbing or the status of charges.

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Tougher penalties for assaults on law enforcement

Sullivan used the occasion of the stabbing to push for passage of bills A2378 and S3201 aimed at increasing the penalties for assaulting a police officer. It would also require that sentences be served consecutively rather than concurrently.

The bipartisan bill was introduced in the Assembly in January, when it was sent to the Public Safety and Preparedness Committee. The Senate version was referred to the Law and Public Safety Committee on May 9.

Sullivan also called for strengthening the Solitary Confinement Act of 2017 as attacks on staff have become more violent and frequent.

"These attacks have additionally cost the state's prison system tens of millions in staffing and overtime," Sullivan said. "We cannot afford to wait until one of us is killed; meaningful reform is needed immediately."

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