The guard wounded in an attack at the Jackson County Detention Center late Wednesday was said to be in better condition Friday.

Late in the day, County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker tweeted that the guard “is much improved today. He is better but a tough road ahead for him.” On Thursday, she had tweeted that he was “fighting for this life after a vicious attack” and added, “And I’ll continue to pray. But that’s not enough. Change is needed… now.”

Later Thursday, her office filed charges against 20-year-old Johnny R. Dunlap of Kansas City. Police say he attacked the guard Wednesday night, using a plastic cone and other items. The attack lasted several minutes, the guard was unconscious much of the time, and he suffered several broken bones in the face and bleeding of the brain.

Dunlap is charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action, and he could face life in prison.

This is at least the third attack on a guard since early August. Baker and Sheriff Mike Sharp have emphatically and repeatedly stated in recent weeks that conditions at the jail – specifically staff safety – have to be improved.

County Executive Frank White Jr. on Thursday released a statement saying, “My administration and I take these assaults very seriously. Such violent behavior by inmates toward our corrections officers will not be tolerated.”