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State Speaker: Deadly Clash In Cushing Prison Should Be A 'Wake Up Call'

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On Monday, the Department of Corrections released the names of the four inmates killed in a clash at a prison in Cushing, and the state Speaker of the House believes the deadly brawl reflects the crisis in our correctional system. On Monday, the Department of Corrections released the names of the four inmates killed in a clash at a prison in Cushing, and the state Speaker of the House believes the deadly brawl reflects the crisis in our correctional system.
CUSHING, Oklahoma -

On Monday, the Department of Corrections released the names of the four inmates killed in a clash at a prison in Cushing, and the state Speaker of the House believes the deadly brawl reflects the crisis in our correctional system.

For years, Speaker Jeff Hickman has been outspoken on the issues and problems within the Oklahoma corrections system. He said this deadly "inmate-on-inmate altercation" needs to be a wake up call to all Oklahomans for the change needed.

The Cimarron Correctional Facility remains under lockdown while investigators look into the fatal altercation that lasted less than two minutes but killed four inmates.

9/14/2015 Related Story: Authorities Identify Inmates Killed, Injured In Cushing Prisoner Clash

Oklahoma's Department of Corrections released the names of the injured and deceased inmates Monday morning.

  • Jared Cruce – Remains Hospitalized
  • Cordell Johnson – Remains Hospitalized
  • Jesse Hood – Remains Hospitalized
  • Anthony Fulwilder – Deceased
  • Michael Mayden – Deceased
  • Kyle Tiffee  – Deceased
  • Christopher Tignor – Deceased

The men, all from Oklahoma, were locked up for a vast array of convictions including drug, assault and robbery charges.

Corrections Corporation of America runs the Cushing prison. News 9 contacted the CCA spokesperson several times Monday, but questions were never answered. News 9 referred to previous statements released over the weekend.

“This isn't a private or public prison issue. We have a true crisis in our prisons in Oklahoma. And until we can get to the point of to address that we are going to have prisons in very, very challenging situations,” Hickman said.

But a former CCA correctional officer, who did not want to be identified, claims the prison is understaffed and CCA knew there were safety issues not being addressed.

“The Cimarron Correctional Facility is majority understaffed. They have about 100 correctional officers for 1,600 inmates. It’s just not a safe environment,” the former CCA correctional officer said.

She said for those reason, Saturday's deadly altercation came as no surprise to her.

Hickman for now remains confident in CCA's performance at Cimarron Correctional Facility, but that could change depending on what's found in investigators' reports.

“At this point, it is so early after the incident happened, until the inspector general has time to get to the facility and review the situation and report back to us, we just don't have the answers right now,” Hickman said.

This is now the second fight at this facility in the past three months.

In June, 12 inmates were taken to the hospital from a riot involving hundreds at the prison.

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