News Worms
News Worms


Authorities hunt for answers in deadly prison uproar

The prison was placed on lockdown for several hours after the inmates refused to return to their cells.

A reported fire that was burning on a concrete slab of the small yard has been extinguished, and the housing unit is habitable and secure.

The Tecumseh facility is the same one in which a riot broke out in 2015 leaving two inmates dead and millions of dollars in property damage.

"The loss of life was tragic, but this is a risky place", Ricketts told reporters.

The Corrections Department said the incident was confined to one-half of one housing unit and the mini-yard.

Spokeswoman Dawn-Renee Smith said about 40 of the 128 inmates in a housing unit were involved in the disturbance.

Understaffing and stress from mandatory overtime were among factors blamed in that Mother's Day riot. When asked by Brandon Scott of WOWT 6 News how he would categorize the incident he said, "Hmm".

"I do believe we've made many improvements and it is devastating to me any kind of loss of life that has happened and it's important that we take again a very hard look at what happened and how it happened and try to make improvements from that point on", Hansen said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska said the incident illustrates the lingering problems in the state prison system.

"Front line staff have shared publicly their hard work conditions including low pay, low morale, forced overtime as well as fears about staff assaults".

Conrad said her first thoughts are of the safety of staff and inmates, but blasted what she called horrific conditions of confinement.

She said the Nebraska Attorney General's Office will carry out its responsibility to seek justice for the deaths of TSCI inmates. "Our state has failed to invest the resources needed to remedy the situation or enact meaningful criminal justice reforms".

It is not a question of if litigation will be filed, she said.

Nebraska State Patrol investigations led to charges in the previous riot. An internal critical incident review is also being conducted.

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