2 Inmates Killed, 3 Others Hurt in Prison ‘Disturbance’: Everything We Know

Two inmates were killed and three others injured Friday in a deadly “group disturbance” that broke out at an Oklahoma prison.

The deadly “disturbance” unfolded at the Lawton Correctional and Rehabilitation Facility when two groups of prisoners that must remain separated crossed paths due to “human error,” the Oklahoma Department of Corrections spokesperson Kay Thompson told Newsweek.

“The error is under investigation, and our Operations team is working closely with The GEO Group to understand how this occurred and what corrective actions need to be taken,” Thompson said.

The GEO Group specializes in rehabilitation programs for people in custody.

Two inmates were killed and three others injured Friday in a deadly “group disturbance” that broke out at the Lawton Correctional and Rehabilitation Facility in Oklahoma.

The GEO Group, Inc.

Some news reports claimed 30 people were injured in the disturbance. Thompson clarified to Newsweek that 30 people were seen on camera, but only 10 were involved in the altercation.

“Contrary to the opinions of certain people, what transpired at Lawton Correctional and Rehabilitation Facility on Friday was not a riot; it was a group disturbance,” ODOC said in a press release. “A riot happens when inmates band together and are violent toward the facility and staff, causing massive damage and disrupting operations.”

Along with the two prisoners who died, three others were also injured. Two of those inmates suffered serious injuries and both were taken to a hospital, one by van and one by medi-flight. Both inmates have since returned to the facility.

A corrections officer also suffered minor injuries.

The prison is still locked down and undergoing a “facility-wide shakedown.”

Thompson said that ODOC views mitigating violence as a “priority.”

“ODOC is always concerned for the health and safety of those in our care and those incarcerated in contracted facilities,” Thompson said.

The agency has implemented a stricter misconduct policy and other strategies to reduce inmate-on-inmate violence.

The policy bars inmates from banding together for purposes of inciting others to cause the disruption of facility operations, inmate-on-inmate and inmate-on-staff assaults, rioting and other disturbances. An offense can be punishable by revoking credits, disciplinary segregation, visitation restrictions and telephone restrictions depending on what class of offenses it falls under.

State Rep. Justin Humphrey, who leads the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee, slammed the ODOC following the deadly incident, The Oklahoman reported.

“I am very disappointed that the Department of Corrections has ignored the overwhelming evidence that our prison system is primed for disaster,” said Humphrey, who called the incident a riot. “I have been publicly warning how the violence in Oklahoma prisons has been escalating.”

Newsweek reached out to Humphrey for further comment but he did not immediately respond.

The ODOC criticized Humphrey’s comments in a press release.

“The chairman of Criminal Justice and Corrections seems to lack an understanding of precisely what constitutes a riot in a correctional setting,” ODOC said. “He continues to misrepresent the truth to fit his self-serving narratives.”