[UPDATE: new information from AFSCME suggests that only one inmate was seriously injured, and 26 inmates were involved, improvised weapons were used, and it was a gang-related incident between the Bloods and the Black Guerilla Family. The point remains that the incident was likely caused by or at least exacerbated by staffing shortages that have been noted numerous times precisely with no state response.]
For several week now, AFSCME has been complaining about severe staffing shortages of prison guards throughout the Maryland prison system. There has been what appears to be zero response from the State. Last night, there was a “major disturbance” at Western Correctional Institute (WCI) in Cumberland which resulted in four inmates being hospitalized with serious injuries.
A major disturbance occurred at the Western Correctional Institution (WCI) near Cumberland, Maryland at approximately 11:30PM on Wednesday, July, 20, 2016.
Four inmates are reported to have been seriously injured and taken from the facility to receive emergency medical treatment. No officers are reported injured at this time.
Between 25 and 40 inmates are alleged to have been involved in the major disturbance. Two housing units were at WCI placed on lock down (inmates locked in cells for security reasons).
Nearly 30 officers were scrambled from neighboring North Branch Correctional Institution (NBCI) to help restore order at WCI.
Asked for further comment by Maryland Scramble, Jeff Pittman, Communications Director for AFSCME Maryland, gave this statement: “Secretary Stephen Moyer has admitted that he is understaffed by 600 correctional officers statewide. The state is understaffed nearly 130 officers in Cumberland.”
More on this story as the details of the incident become available.