An inmate serving time for attempted murder allegedly tried to kill a correctional officer at a Northern California state prison by slashing him repeatedly in the neck, authorities said Monday afternoon.

Alberto Cortez, 22, "tried to murder" the officer with a handmade weapon inside a maximum security unit at California State Prison Sacramento, according to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

A second inmate tried to attack officers who responded to the incident, which was reported about 8 a.m. Monday, authorities said.

The injured officer is a 15-year veteran of the department. He was taken to a hospital and listed Monday afternoon in fair condition.

Cortez was convicted in Los Angeles County and is serving a sentence of 15 years to life, authorities said.

The department said prison authorities are investigating the attack as an attempted murder.

The prison was opened in 1986 near Folsom and houses more than 2,100 inmates, including maximum security prisoners serving long sentences and others who have had management problems at other state prisons.

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robert.lopez@latimes.com