FBI Looking into Alleged Beatings at East Arkansas Corrections Unit

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The FBI is to investigate whether the civil rights of state prisoners were violated by guards who allegedly beat inmates at the East Arkansas Regional Unit at Brickeys.

The state prison system is also conducting its own investigation.

The department will forward the results of its investigation to the FBI.

FBI spokesman Steve Frazier says federal agents will then conduct interviews and gather evidence.  The results of the FBI probe will be forwarded to the federal Justice Department's Civil Rights Division for a decision on a possible action.

On June 22, the state Correction Dept. placed two sergeants and four guards on administrative leave.  The correction officers were allegedly involved in beating as many as ten inmates over the prior year.

Prisons spokeswoman Dina Tyler says the officers remain on leave and that the department is still investigating.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)