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Mississippi Corporate Prison Riot: Guard Killed, Several Injured

A guard was killed, while five guards and three inmates were injured during a prison riot in Natchez, Mississippi, on Sunday afternoon.

The riot occurred at the Adams County Correctional Facility, which is used to house illegal immigrants, typically those that have re-entered the country after deportation.

It is unclear how many inmates were involved in the riot and what was the cause. The slain employee couldn’t be publicly identified until family is notified.

Adams County Sherriff Chuck Mayfield believes the riot was caused by a power struggle among inmates, but an anonymous caller to a TV station from an inmate at the facility claimed it was caused by mistreatment by prison employees.

“They always beat us and hit us. We just pay them back,” said the inmate to WAPT reporter Meg Pace. “We’re trying to get better food, medical (care), programs, clothes and we’re trying to get some respect from the officers and lieutenants.”

The prison is privately owned by the Corrections Corporation of America and houses the inmates in the 2,567-bed facility for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The CCA houses approximately 75,000 inmates in 60 facilities across the country. This incident isn’t the first they have had to contain. According to US News and World Report, there was another disturbance at Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility, another prison in Mississippi in which prisoners set fired to mattresses, clothing and a toilet. Violence at one Idaho prison has prompted lawsuits and increased surveillance and inmates at a Tennessee prison had to be taken down with chemical grenades for refusing to return to their cells in 2010.

Mayfield says the prisoners in Mississippi didn’t have traditional weapons since the guards don’t carry them because of the possibility of riots. They had to resort to objects like pieces of wood and trashcan lids.

The caller also said nine guards were tied up and three were injured, something Mayfield denies. Mayfield is saddened by the loss of the employee but cautions that it could have been worse. “The scary part was being afraid for the employees,” he said in an interview with the Natchez Democrat.

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