Guard Dies in Riot at CCA Prison in Mississippi



The Adams County Correctional Center on Sunday
Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America, the for-profit private prison company that's been the target of a lot of criticism, is likely to be at the center of more media and government scrutiny after a riot at a Natchez, Miss., prison on Sunday left a prison guard dead and more than 20 people injured.

According to The New York Times, the eight-hour-long riot at the Adams County Correctional Center grew out of a gang fight, and inmates took more than 20 people hostage and started a fire in the prison yard. Catlin Carithers, a 24-year-old prison guard, died of blunt head trauma, an official said. The prison was still on lockdown yesterday, when the Times story ran.

The prison's population is made up entirely of immigrants serving time for felonies before being deported, according to CCA spokesman Steve Owen. He also said the inmates were classified as low risk, which should raise a few eyebrows. One Mississippi congressman has already expressed concern:

Representative Bennie G. Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, on Tuesday called for an investigation into the company, saying the riot “brings into question the effectiveness of privately owned and operated prison facilities.”

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