Federal Prisons Still Under Lockdown After Fight Leaves Two Incarcerated People in Texas Dead
Prisons across the U.S. went into lockdown on Monday night following a brawl at a prison in Beaumont, Texas.
Federal prisons across the U.S. went into lockdown on Monday night following a brawl at a prison in Beaumont, Texas, which left two incarcerated people dead: Andrew Pineda, 34, and Guillermo Riojas, 54.
According to officials, the fight, which broke out late last night, also led to the hospitalizations of four people incarcerated at the high-security prison and reportedly involved members of the MS-13 gang.
Following the incident, 120 federal penitentiaries holding more than 1340,000 incarcerated people, went into a lockdown that confined inmates to their cells, revoked walk-out privileges, and prohibited phone calls.
Emery Nelson, a spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, told NBC that the lockdown, which is a rare measure, was done to “secure our facilities as a temporary measure to ensure the good order of our institutions.”
The nationwide lockdown has raised concerns about humane treatment within the federal prison system. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many state prisons halted visitation and locked down, which reportedly led to a decline in the mental health of incarcerated individuals. Prisons throughout the country have also faced staffing shortages as a result of the pandemic, which, according to the Equal Justice Initiative could be a factor that limits security and thus leads to more violence in penitentiaries.