Five staffers at private prison injured in assault

The Cimarron Correctional Facility run by a private company CCA in Cushing, OK, February 16, 2016. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World
The Cimarron Correctional Facility run by a private company CCA in Cushing, OK, February 16, 2016. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World

CUSHING, OK — Five private prison staff members were taken to a local hospital Tuesday night after an altercation with inmates, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections reported.

An officer at the Cimarron Correctional Facility pepper-sprayed an inmate for refusing to comply with orders about 9 p.m., according to a news release. Several inmates then assaulted the officer. Other correctional officers responded and deployed more pepper spray.

Although the department said the incident ended quickly, five staff members were taken to a local hospital, treated and released.

Cimarron is owned and operated by CoreCivic, formerly called the Corrections Corporation of America. The medium-security facility holds more than 1,600 inmates, according to the most recent population report.

In 2015, four inmates at the facility were stabbed to death in the deadliest single incident on record in an Oklahoma prison. Felony riot charges were filed last month against seven inmates for their alleged involvement in the fight.

No inmates were injured during the incident, said Mark Myers, spokesman for the state Corrections Department. The department’s inspector general’s office is still investigating how many inmates were involved.

CoreCivic declined to comment on the incident.

By: Graham Lee Brewer
Published: May 18, 2017

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