Guard Fired, Four Suspended in Further Prisoner Abuse Discipline - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR

Guard Fired, Four Suspended in Further Prisoner Abuse Discipline

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Officials say the state Correction Department fired one guard and suspended four others for failing to report abuse of inmates at the East Arkansas Regional Unit in Brickeys.

Seven guards were fired last week for using excessive force on maximum-security inmates at the unit in Brickeys.  Those offenses included pepper-spraying noncombative inmates and intentionally walking at least one inmate into prison bars.

Correction Dept. spokeswoman Dina Tyler says the latest round of discipline should complete the inquiry.

The guard who was fired was a sergeant who worked for the department for 14 years.  Officials said the 43-year-old was fired for not honestly disclosing that inmates were abused.

Tyler says one of the four suspended employees engaged in verbal abuse of an inmate and the three others were suspended for failing to report the abuse.  The suspension runs for 30 days.

Earlier this year, the FBI said it would investigate whether the civil rights of state prisoners were violated by guards who allegedly beat them.   Tyler said information about the latest suspensions were sent to FBI investigators.

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

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