Key state legislators react with concern, but not panic, to the latest disturbance at the Tecumseh state prison.
Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete, the Judiciary Committee chair, says she’s not ready to call for special hearings, but acknowledges the injury of four Tecumseh staff members at the hands of inmates worries her.
“It’s a big concern,” Ebke tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Thankfully, it sounds like those who were injured are not critically injured anyhow. The last I heard, they walked out under their own steam. Certainly, it’s indicative of a larger problem in our corrections system.”
Inmates in housing unit 2B at the Tecumseh prison assaulted four staff members early Wednesday afternoon. Guards had to use force to defend themselves and return the inmates to their cells. Two guards sought treatment at a local hospital.
Housing unit 2AB has been on modified operations in wake of the deadly disturbance on March 2nd in which two inmates died, apparently at the hand of fellow inmates.
Corrections officials say four inmates had been allowed out of their cells; some because their cells had been flooded when their toilets had been plugged, others for their meals.
Those inmates involved in the assaults and others on the unit made threats regarding additional assaults as they were demanding to be let out of their cells.
Ebke still expresses faith in State Corrections Director Scott Frakes as does Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha.
“I still have faith that Director Frakes has set a course and he still needs, in his estimation and in mine, some time to make those changes, but time’s getting short,” Krist tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Housing unit 2A remains in modified lockdown status, same as the status after the March 2nd incident. The rest of the prison is operating normally.
The same housing unit was the scene of the Mother’s Day riot in 2015, which also left two inmates dead and caused more than $2 million in damage.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports. [:50]