SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Two correctional officers at the South Dakota State Penitentiary were attacked by two inmates Thursday morning, according to the Attorney General’s office.

The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating the attack and South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley will prosecute the case.

Lester Monroe.

Jackley told KELOLAND News a second correctional officer was hurt when responding to the attack that happened in Unit D of the Jameson Prison Annex. Jackley said two inmates — Lester M. Monroe and Kyle L. Jones — will face charges of attempted murder and aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer.

The Sioux Falls Police Department call log lists an assault call at North Drive and 1st Avenue at 8:33 a.m. Thursday. 

“This was a violent incident where officers were assaulted,” Jackley said in a news release. “Department of Corrections staff responded quickly and took control of the situation. My thoughts and prayers are with the officers and their families.”

Kyle Jones.

Monroe, 48, is serving time for simple assault on Law Enforcement out of Minnehaha County and for a stolen vehicle in Bennett County. Jones, 30, is serving time for first degree manslaughter, eluding a police officer and drug use in Minnehaha County.

“This is an isolated incident, it began with two inmates attacking a correctional officer the second correctional officer that came to the other correctional officer’s aid was also assaulted; correction officers responded rapidly, swiftly they gained quick control of the situation and they did what they needed to do to best preserve the situation and protect the officers,” Jackley said.  

Jackley declined to answer if any weapons were involved. Both officers were treated at the hospital and released on Thursday.

In June, the state reported 786 male inmates at the State Pen, 479 at the Jameson Annex and 200 at the Sioux Falls Minimum Center. The designed capacity for the State Pen is 426 and the operational capacity is listed at 837. 

State lawmakers have approved funding for the construction of a new men’s prison. The State Penitentiary is more than 140 years old and was built in 1881.

Secretary of Corrections Kellie Wasko told state lawmakers in February two 100-plus page reports done by DLR Group and CGL on South Dakota’s aging prison system highlighted issues with overcrowding. 

“It’s unsafe and it’s inefficient to staff,” Wasko said on Feb. 22. “It’s got the highest vacancy rate and the highest overtime and double-time expenses as well.” 

Wasko also said there’s been $30 million spent on maintenance and repair at the State Pen since Fiscal Year 2013. 

Two inmates confessed to killing correctional officer Ronald ‘RJ’ Johnson during a failed escape attempt at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in April 2011.  Eric Robert was executed in October 2012; the state executed Rodney Berget for his role in Johnson’s death in October 2018.

This is a developing story. Stay with KELOLAND News for more updates online and on-air.