A prison riot in Nebraska left two child abusers dead recently. Gov. Peter Ricketts toured the facility on Tuesday and took a look at the damage.
Ricketts entered the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution, which houses 11 of the state’s death row inmates, nine days after the 11-hour riot. The prison was riddled with broken windows, blown-out ceilings, torn-out tiles, burned doors and floors filled with trash and debris.
The damage could total up to around $500,000.
During the riots, two child abusers were killed: 46-year-old Donald Peacock and 46-year-old Shon Collins. Both deaths were likely at the hands of fellow prisoners, though autopsy results are pending, according to officials. Two other inmates were also shot, one with a rubber bullet, and two staff members were assaulted during the riot.
The prison has remained on modified lockdown since Tuesday while cleanup continues. Visitors are currently not allowed and only 50 of the 960 inmates can leave their cells to perform prison duties. Currently, dozens of inmates are also stuffed into cells made for only three people – Ricketts faced criticism for this during his tour from those who argued the state’s mandatory minimum sentencing is responsible for overcrowding.
“My reaction to seeing the damage inside only reinforces that these are dangerous, hardened criminals inside this facility,” Ricketts said in reaction to his tour. “We need to have facilities like this to protect public safety as well.”
The riot reportedly began after guards confronted an inmate who had accidentally been allowed in a yard when he was supposed to be inside. Guards ordered a “get down” command for all inmates, but some refused and began an uprising.
Some lawmakers have suggested that the riot was planned.