An inmate at Lee Correctional Institution attacked an employee and then tried to sexually assault them on February 2, according to South Carolina Department of Corrections officials.
The employee was examined at a local hospital and released, said officials.
"We've got to make investments in our prisons that allow our officers to work there safely," Republican Representative Micah Caskey of Lexington County said.
SLED is investigating and charges are expected against the inmate. Lawmakers are calling for more money for South Carolina's prison system.
"We have studies saying we are 6 to 700 officers short, and other studies if you want to apply the golden standard saying 2,000 officers short. They are crying out for assistance and we need to give it," Democratic Representative Seth Rose of Richland County said.
"We've got to recruit more often, we've got to train them better, we've got to retain them," Caskey said.
The suspect's name has not been released yet by officials.
In a different incident, inmate Keishawn Omar McManus was found hanging from his cell on the morning of January 31, said officials. The inmate was housed at Perry Correctional Institution. SCDC officials said they suspect suicide.
Both SLED and SCDC Police services are investigating. The results of an autopsy have not been released yet.
To see coverage from WPDE-TV 15 ABC (Myrtle Beach, SC), please click here.