Prisoner Clash At Private Oklahoma Prison, Fourth Inmate Dies

A fourth inmate has died after a disturbance at a private Oklahoma prison, officials said Sunday.

The inmate was one of five injured in the the attack or fight at the Cimarron Correction Facility in Cushing Saturday afternoon, died overnight, Terri Watkins, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

The other three inmates who died were fatally stabbed, Watkins said. She did know the nature of the injuries to any of the other inmates, including the fourth who died.

Three injured inmates remained hospitalized Sunday and the fourth has been returned to the prison.

Prison staff shut down the disturbance around 4:40 p.m. Saturday, Steve Owen, a spokesman for the Nashville, Tennessee-based Corrections Corporation of America, said. The incident lasted about 40 minutes and was contained to one housing pod, he said.

None of the staff were injured. The names of those killed and injured were not immediately released.

The prison was placed on lockdown and inmates were confined to their housing areas, Owen said. The facility is ‚about 50 miles southwest of Tulsa and houses medium- and maximum-security male inmates for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

Local law enforcement along with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections were immediately notified of the incident.

The incident occurred in the medium-security part of the prison,Watkins told The Associated Press. The prison is home to about 1,600 inmates.

Corrections Corporation of America, one of nation’s largest private prison companies, has contracts with various states and other entities to house inmates.

It is the second major violent outburst in months at the prison.

In June, some 200 to 300 of the prison’s roughly 1,600 inmates were involved in a brawl there. Eleven prisoners were taken to hospitals after the fight and the facility was placed on lockdown. The fighting occurred among inmates in three separate housing units.

In March 2013, there was a unit-wide fight that ended with windows smashed, security doors being breached and led to inmates being pepper sprayed after they made weapons from destroyed property, according to the newspaper.

Oklahoma has the highest rate of prison homicides in the nation, with state inmates killed at a rate more than three times the national average, according to figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The figures reviewed by The Associated Press as part of a months-long investigation earlier this year show that there were 39 homicides at Oklahoma prisons between 2001 and 2012, a rate of 14 per 100,000 inmates. The national average is 4 per 100,000.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.