A former corrections officer sued the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center (NOCC), arguing that the private prison forced him to quit after he was stabbed while trying to break up an inmate fight.

According to court documents filed on November 7th, Michael Schneider was a correctional officer at the NOCC facility owned by Corecivic since spring of 2021. 

Problems and safety concerns at the facility were not new, according to the complaint. Court documents cite a 2022 Correctional Institution Inspection Committee report that described inmates loitering in the hallways for an extended period of time. A 2023 version of the same report noted that inmates were entering pods that they were not assigned to, and had to be redirected. The 2023 report also found that staff surveys were overwhelmingly negative, with employees expressing concerns over staff retention and communication.

Schneider claimed the prison was often understaffed.

The complaint says Schneider responded to a fight between inmates on May 20, 2023. Schneider attempted to break up the fight, and called backup to assist him. Documents claim nobody ever showed up to help.

Schneider was stabbed by an inmate while trying to stop the fight, according to the complaint.

In the days following the fight, Schneider asked the facility for assistance with his workers compensation paperwork. It was at this time when NOCC administrators asked to meet with Schneider. 

Documents claim that the Assistant Warden Schneider met with had no intention of helping him with paperwork, but instead gave him employment termination paperwork.

Schneider claims the Assistant Warden told him his job was terminated because the inmates had a fight. Court documents say the Assistant Warden then intimidated Schneider into resigning, telling him it would be easier for him to find a job if he resigned instead of being fired.

Schneider asked the Assistant Warden if he could make a phone call to get legal advice, but his request was refused. He then resigned.

Schneider is asking for $25,000 to compensate for lost wages and emotional distress, plus $25,000 in punitive damages.