A Nebraska state prison has been the site of a riot since yesterday, and two staff members and two prisoners have been injured according to authorities.
Details at this point are sketchy at best as Nebraska prison officials at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution continue to try and sort out what is happening.
According to a press release from a Nebraska prison Department of Corrections spokesman, the incident began yesterday afternoon when prison staff members tried to quell a gathering of inmates from a housing unit within the Nebraska prison. According to reports, two workers who attempted to disperse that gathering of prisoners were assaulted for their efforts. As a result, one of the prisoners was shot.
@BuzzFeedNews inmates riot at Nebraska prison, claim they’ve taken over. Guards injured, inmates shot http://t.co/iJX1UeBPEI
— Rick Farrow (@rick_farrow) May 11, 2015
That initial melee within the Nebraska prison resulted in other disturbances in multiple housing units within the prison. According to authorities, several small fires were started within the prison, and in the aftermath, a second prisoner was injured. Currently, all staff members are accounted for in the Nebraska prison, but smoke could still be seen rising up from multiple sections of the facility as of late yesterday evening. Officials say that the prison is now secured in “all areas,” and there doesn’t seem to be any danger to the public.
Potentially very bad news from Nebraska’s highest security prison complex. https://t.co/9r5pKsmwwC
— Dan Jenkins (@JenkinsDan) May 11, 2015
According to officials in Nebraska, the two staff members and the two inmates that were injured in the riot have all received medical treatment and are in stable condition.
Currently, a special response team is on the ground in Nebraska at the prison site along with a crisis negotiating team.
The Tecumseh State Correctional Facility in Nebraska is a medium and maximum security prison and is staffed by over 400 workers. Designed to hold up to 960 inmates, critics of the prison in Nebraska say that the facility, run by the Nebraska State Department of Corrections, is overcrowded. In 2013, two inmates at the Nebraska prison sued the Department of Corrections, claiming that the overcrowding at the prison was causing intentional emotional distress.
The two prisoners sued the Nebraska prison for $20 million and another $60 million each for punitive damages. In the lawsuit, the two prisoners said they receive barely a fifth of the fifty square feet of living space required by the American Correctional Association.
As a result of the overcrowded conditions in Nebraska prisons, earlier this year lawmakers in Nebraska moved forward three new bills which would utilize more lower-cost alternatives to prison like extended probation and parole measures. Critics of those bills say that they are not tough enough on crime.
As smoke continues to rise from the Tecumseh State Correction Facility this morning, the world waits for an update from Nebraska prison officials.
Photo via Twitter