Nebraska's Governor Pete Ricketts had to postpone Thursday's town hall meeting in Lexington in order for him to speak to some of the corrections officers who were hurt in a recent disturbance at Lincoln Correctional Center.
A total of nine COs suffered injuries in the disturbance that occurred on Wednesday, Aug. 24. They received treatment for their injuries at various hospitals in Lincoln; all have been released, the spokesperson for the state Department of Correctional Services stated.
Six injured staff members were taken in ambulances to medical facilities, and three rode in state vehicles.
A female CO needed staples to close a cut to the head, the prison's public information officer announced. Others had exposures to pepper spray used to disperse inmates who remained on lockdown the day following the disturbance.
Nebraska State Patrol investigators were at the prison the day after to discover the reasons behind the inmate's uprising.
The DOC spokeswoman said Thursday problems developed around 6 p.m., on Wednesday when an inmate hit a CO. Others jumped in, assaulting other COs who were near the site of the fracas.
The prison was fully staffed when the fight broke out, the spokeswoman added. The corrections director said that safety was a priority, and they were "doing everything we can to prevent these events . . . This incident cannot be attributed to crowding or staffing levels. Inmates made the choice to harm staff."
The prison warden reiterated that staff-directed violence was "unacceptable."
A pair of state senators requested a meeting with Nebraska prison officials to determine what their plans are to prevent assaults on more COs.
The melee was the third disturbance at the same prison within the past two weeks, necessitating medical treatment at hospitals for staff members. At the state penitentiary, inmates were also twice locked down recently over inmate rumbles.
Work-related injuries can result in workers' compensation claims and civil settlements, in some cases.
Source: Omaha World-Herald, "'How many more people need to get hurt?' Lincoln senator asks after 9 officers injured in prison disturbance," Paul Hammel and Emerson Clarridge, Aug. 26, 2016