Four more Oklahoma State Reformatory prisoners in Granite injured in fight

Wednesday, November 9th 2005, 5:20 am
By: News On 6

GRANITE, Okla. (AP) -- Officials at a southwestern Oklahoma prison here placed the entire facility on lockdown after the second racially motivated fight in three days injured several inmates.

One Oklahoma State Reformatory inmate was sent to the hospital in Hobart with stab wounds, warden's assistant Teri Posvic said Tuesday. The inmate's condition was unavailable.

The inmates Tuesday fought in the common area of Delta Unit, where guards had to quell the brawl on Sunday. The unit was put into lockdown after the first fight, and officials had let them back into the common area when the second fight broke out.

Initial reports indicate the fight was in retaliation for the weekend brawl, Posvic said. The four inmates who were hurt Tuesday are black; the four injured on Sunday are white.

"They were trying to bring it up gradually today and then this happened," she said of security measures.

Two men were sent to the hospital and two were treated at the prison during Sunday's melee. One was still in the hospital Monday, but his status was unavailable Tuesday.

In July, reformatory inmate Donald Ray Jones Jr. was stabbed to death, Corrections Department spokesman Jim Rabon said. Jones, 29, was black. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is investigating and no charges have been filed.

Also Tuesday, a state senator whose district includes Granite called on House Speaker Todd Hiett to bring the House back into special session to work on the corrections problems.

"The incident at the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite this weekend only serves as a harsh reminder that Oklahoma prisons are not safe," Sen. Gilmer Capps, D-Snyder, said in a statement.

"The Senate passed an emergency appropriation back in August to deal with this matter, and the Republican-controlled House has chosen to allow the bill to sit on a shelf and collect dust while the problem only gets worse."

Damon Gardenhire, spokesman for Hiett, R-Kellyville, said the speaker still believes the Correction Department's funding problems can be fixed during the regular legislative session.