July 26, 2014 10:48:06 PM
MERIDIAN -- Two inmates could face charges after injuring three prison guards in a fight at East Mississippi Correctional Facility.
Issa Arnita, a spokesman for prison contractor Management & Training Corp., says three guards were moving a prisoner to solitary confinement Thursday morning when the fight began. After guards told the prisoner to gather his belongings, Arnita said the prisoner stabbed one officer in the back with a homemade knife.
Arnita said the stabbed officer "immediately took the offender to the ground." As the two other officers used pepper spray to subdue that prisoner, another inmate stabbed a second officer in the back and arm. The third officer's hand received a small cut.
The officers were treated and released from a Meridian hospital for what Arnita called "minor injuries."
Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said deputies are investigating, but declined Friday to release the inmates' names.
"We are working with security at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility to get all the facts," Sollie said.
The sheriff said he felt no rush to file charges because the prisoners remained locked up, but said he would convey information to be presented to a grand jury later. Arnita said the offenders would face "serious criminal charges."
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center sued the state in 2013 over what the groups called "barbaric" conditions at East Mississippi, saying inmates are isolated for long stretches, sometimes in filthy cells with rats and broken toilets and are denied access to medical and mental health care.
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