CUSHING, Okla. – A gang-related melee broke out Tuesday in the gymnasium of a privately run prison, with inmates flailing away with baseball bats and other weapons, authorities said. One inmate was killed and five others were hurt.
About 50 to 60 inmates at the Cimarron Correctional Facility (search) were involved, said Department of Corrections spokesman Jerry Massie. The prison was locked down and state Department of Corrections authorities went to the scene.
Two gangs were involved in the melee, which was brought under control within 10 minutes, officials said. Inmates struck each other with bats and other gym equipment.
"They were picking up things and hitting each other with them," said Louise Chickering, spokeswoman for the Corrections Corporation of America (search), the nation's largest private corrections operator.
The Nashville-based company operates four prisons in Oklahoma. Cimarron Correctional houses about 970 inmates — 445 of whom are categorized as violent, state records show.
In June 2004, two inmates at CCA's Diamondback Correctional Facility (search) in Watonga were critically injured when a riot broke out between Hispanic gangs.
A report into the incident, conducted by the Arizona Department of Corrections, determined the riot went on for more than four hours, much longer than initially stated.