3 Inmates Dead, 5 Injured At Oklahoma Private Prison

Cimarron Correction Facility, a private prison in Cushing, Oklahoma

Cimarron Correction Facility, a private prison in Cushing, Oklahoma

CUSHING, Oklahoma Three inmates died, with five more hospitalized after a “disturbance” at Cimarron Correctional Facility in Cushing on Saturday.

About 4:39 p.m., staff at the private prison “quelled an inmate disturbance,” according to a statement from Steve Owen, spokesman for Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America, which owns and operates the facility.

The disturbance was contained to a single housing pod and lasted about 40 minutes. Three inmates died and five others were transported to hospitals for treatment, Owen stated.

The facility was placed on lockdown. Inmates were confined to their housing areas so facility management and law enforcement could isolate, review and investigate the incident, according to Owen’s statement.

A welfare check also was conducted on all inmates at the facility. No staff members were injured, Owen stated.

The names of the deceased and injured inmates involved have not been released, pending next-of-kin notification, according to Owen’s statement.

Local law enforcement and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections were immediately notified, Owen stated.

A DOC spokeswoman declined to comment on the incident because it is under investigation.

The Cimarron Correctional Facility is a 1,720-bed prison owned and operated by CCA housing medium- and maximum-security male inmates for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

In June, Cimarron went under lockdown after inmates from three housing units got into a fight that sent 11 of them to the hospital.

There was a unit-wide fight there in March 2013, which involved inmates smashing windows, breaching security doors and being pepper-sprayed after making weapons from destroyed property.

Another incident at the prison in May 2013 involved 10 offenders and began when one of them hit an inmate who was eating lunch in the dining hall. Officers used more than a pound of pepper spray against the inmates after they refused orders to stop fighting.

Stacy Ryburn 918-581-8300