DKU: Alaska Prison Guard fends off attack by using knife; loses job.


An Alaska CO defended himself against 3 prison bangers with just a smuggled pocketknife.

Every now and again there is a story that has so many angles to it that it can’t be adequately covered in a single post.  I want to start by stating how thankful I am that correction officer Spalding survived his encounter and wish him all the best as he pursues justice in his termination.  He and many others go to work every day in conditions that most of us can barely comprehend, and protect us from those who are human in only the biological sense.

Kim Spalding, a career law enforcement and corrections officer, was alone, supervising 64 prisoners in Alaska’s only maximum security prison.  He was attacked by three inmates from a prison gang whom he had disciplined in the past.  It was in the course of this beating, and fearing for his life, CO Spalding deployed a pocketknife he had smuggled into the housing unit.

In a nutshell, Spalding successfully fought off his attackers, but lost his job 2 days short of 20 years – when he would be eligible for his complete pension.

There are so many angles from which to approach this story.  TTAK’s own Managing Editor Chris Dumm, is a criminal defense attorney in Washington state.  Multiple times a month, he travels “behind the wire”, and has a unique perspective from which to analyze this story.  We look forward to his insights in future posts.

Some of the issues we will be tackling in the coming days apply both to the specifics of this of this DKU, as well as to Defensive Knife Use in general, 2nd Amendment and knife rights, and the folly of civilian disarmament when this cannot be achieved even within the walls of a maximum security prison.

In the mean time, read this article from the Anchorage Daily News: Former prison guard describes fending off attack with knife.


  1. Aharon says:

    I’m outraged at the cold-blooded reaction by the prison system especially if they deny him his pension. This attitude of the rulers (who are never without their body guards) is typical of the elites disdain for the welfare and lives of us commoners.

  2. jwm says:

    Any regular readers of TTAG know that I worked in a state prison in California for a year. I was not a gaurd but I had the same access to the inmates as they did. Against the rules I carried a lock back knife every day I worked there. I never had to show it, but it brought me some comfort having it. Inmates always outnumber prison personnel and they pick the time to strike. And they are always armed when they strike.

  3. David says:

    It seems like there is alot of context and behind the scene stuff we are missing. Prison staff folks tend to be tight knit and if they terminated this guy 2 days shy of full retirement then I tend to think they were sending a message or punishing him for something else. They could have easy let him take R&R to recover from the attack and terminated him after that or let him quit.

  4. Azimuth says:

    This is what you get after years of liberals dictating prison policies. Period.
    These daycare centers for criminals are neither a deterrence nor a real punishment, and never, in all of man’s history, has coddling criminals been proven to be a good idea. There are those who will never be rehabilitated, no matter how hard we try, or how much money we waste. Take this story. Who was punished the worst? The guard, or the prisoner? Until this liberal idiocy changes, nothing will change.

  5. Jake says:

    His boss should be made to commute to work on foot for a month. Barefoot. And if he survives, he should be congratulated, pardoned, and then summarily sacked two days before his set retirement date.

  6. Spalding's Ex-coworker says:

    I forwarded this to Kim Spalding. He didnt know about this article, and if you would like to get a hold of him let me know and I can forward you to him.

    1. Spalding's Ex-coworker says:

      Also, the DA has not pursued charges on the 3 prisoners who were part of the attack. It is now January 2014 and the attack took place October 2012. It seems that attacks on officers is tolerated, but arming your self is not.

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DKU: Alaska Prison Guard fends off attack by using knife; loses job.

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