Officials: 200-300 inmates involved in Oklahoma prison brawl

AP News
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Posted: Jun 11, 2015 4:04 PM

CUSHING, Okla. (AP) — Between 200 and 300 inmates at a private prison in Oklahoma were involved in a brawl, state corrections officials said Thursday, and the facility is on indefinite lockdown.

Eleven prisoners were taken to hospitals after the fight Wednesday afternoon at the Cimarron Correctional Facility in Cushing, 50 miles southwest of Tulsa, state Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terri Watkins said. Seven remain hospitalized Thursday, but none have life-threatening injuries, Watkins said. She said she did not know what kinds of injuries the hospitalized inmates sustained or what caused those injuries.

Watkins said fighting occurred among inmates in three separate housing units at the facility that houses a maximum of 1,650 inmates, including medium- and maximum-security beds. The facility itself sustained no property damage, she said.

The prison has been placed on indefinite lockdown while officials investigate what sparked the melee, she said.

Steve Owen, spokesman for Nashville, Tennessee-based prison operator CCA said the fight lasted about 40 minutes before correctional officers regained control. Owen said no correctional workers were injured.

"Public safety was never a threat," he said.

Watkins said the staff "reacted very quickly, very effectively, in containing the situation."

She said the facility, which houses only Oklahoma inmates, does not have a history of inmate violence and there was no record of recent inmate brawls.