Mother of slain prison guard wants more officers on-duty

Meggan Lee Callahan. Image courtesy of Jessie Haywood.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The mother of a guard who authorities say was killed by an inmate in a North Carolina prison says she hopes her daughter’s death shows the need for more guards and better training.

Investigators say Meggan Callahan was beaten to death by an inmate with the fire extinguisher she was trying to use to put out a trash can fire on April 26 at Bertie Correctional Institution.

Callahan’s mother, Wendy Callahan, told The Charlotte Observer that she wonders if her 29-year-old daughter would still be alive if North Carolina hired more prison guards.

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Statewide, about 16 percent of prison officer jobs are vacant. Rural prisons like Bertie Correctional Institution have even more trouble staying fully staffed. About one in five positions at that prison are empty.