Authorities say the violence that occurred over the weekend at the Hickman County state prison was “unprovoked.” The incident involved 16 inmates, along with three security officers who were life-flighted to Vanderbilt Medical Center.
Jason Locke of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says the disturbance at the Turney Center Industrial Complex began as a verbal confrontation between an officer and a prisoner, and escalated from there. He adds that there were no "no indicators anything was going to happen. It’s just a person who was serving a lot of time who made a bad decision."
One of the guards was taken hostage for three hours, before the situation was defused without the use of force. One officer was released from the hospital Sunday night, while the other two are in stable condition.
The head of the state Department of Correction says the prisoners involved have “gang affiliations.” They were housed in a general population unit of the medium-security facility, where the staffing ratio is one guard to every 128 offenders.
The 16 inmates have been moved to two separate maximum security prisons in Tennessee.