State Corrections Director Scott Frakes says Tecumseh state prison has returned to normal, though it remains in lockdown.
A riot at the prison left four inmates and two prison guards injured. Two inmates were injured in scuffles with guards. One was shot and wounded. Another suffered injuries after being shot with rubber bullets. Two inmates suffered injuries at the hands of other inmates.
All are recovering under medical treatment.
Staff members at the prison discovered two inmates dead as they moved through Tecumseh to retake control of the prison.
Both 46-year-old Donald Peacock and 46-year-old Shon Collins were serving time for sexually assaulting children. Collins began serving his sentence in 2010. Peacock began serving his in March of last year.
The cause of both deaths has yet to be determined, but both appeared to have been killed by fellow inmates.
Frakes extends his condolences to their families and promises to prosecute those involved in their death.
“We will gather all the evidence,” according to Frakes. “We will work with the state patrol on those things that will be chargeable crimes and pursue criminal charges and hold them accountable through the court system.”
Frakes acknowledges tensions rose during and in wake of the disturbance at Tecumseh. Yet, Frakes points out prison staff have proven dedicated even as the legislature has the department under intense review.
“I’ve got staff that have spent two years feeling like they were under fire,” Frakes says. “At the same time, I think one of the best indicators today is that yesterday, what I’m aware of is one staff member called in sick at Tecumseh and today the report I got is that everyone came to work.”
Frakes says staff at the Department of Correctional Services want change and want to be a part of that change.
Frakes says a special assessment team with an expert from outside of the Corrections Department will thoroughly study what went wrong that led to the disturbance at the Tecumseh prison.
Frakes says the state ombudsman also will be part of the process that will review what started the riot.
“We do these reviews both to make sure that we didn’t miss something important as well as to figure out how do we do things better the next time around,” according to Frakes.
Considerable property damage was done to the prison, though Frakes says much of it was cosmetic. He says some cameras were destroyed as well as some sprinkler heads. Fire damaged Housing Unit 2AB, which houses 128 inmates. Those inmates have been assigned to other units, which now have three inmates in some cells.