7 Mississippi guards assaulted by inmates - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

7 Mississippi guards assaulted by inmates

Seven correctional officers at South Mississippi Correctional Institution were assaulted Monday afternoon as they were leaving a housing unit following a shakedown at the prison in Leakesville.

All of the officers were treated and released at the local hospital, suffering head and facial bruises.

None of the injuries appears life-threatening.

Five inmates had been identified Monday evening as being among the attackers, and were moved to another prison.

The investigation continues, and all inmates involved in the assault will face charges.

"We do not know at this time what provoked these inmates to assault our officers," Corrections Commissioner Christopher B. Epps said. "At no time was the public at risk nor was the security, custody, control and care of other staff and inmates."

The disturbance occurred around 1:30 p.m. at SMCI Area II, A 2 building, which can house a capacity of 200 inmates who require close supervision and observation. The unit held 193 close custody inmates at the time of the disturbance. Other SMCI staff responded to the unit when an officer radioed for assistance.

SMCI Area II is the same location where an officer was assaulted Thursday but in a different unit. The officer was in Unit A1 when an inmate struck him with a bread tray and the officer fell and struck his head on the floor.

The officer, whose condition has been improving, remains hospitalized.

"Regardless of the reason for these assaults, I intend to see that all these inmates are prosecuted," Epps said. "These assaults illustrate the type of inmates we are dealing with these days. I am committed to ensuring that our prisons are appropriately staffed, as SMCI was in these two cases, and our officers are able to go home each day."

SMCI remained on lockdown Monday evening.

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