Eight prisoners remain hospitalized after riot.

Eight inmates injured during Tuesday's riot at a privately held prison in western Oklahoma remain hospitalized.
BY ANDREW KNITTLE Staff Writer aknittle@opubco.com Published: October 13, 2011

SAYRE – Eight inmates injured during Tuesday's riot at a private prison in this western Oklahoma town remain hospitalized, although the extent of their injuries is unclear.

Mike Machak, spokesman for Corrections Corporation of America, said federal privacy laws prevent his company from releasing the medical conditions of the inmates. He also declined to say why the riot started, citing the ongoing investigation.

The inmates being housed at the North Fork Corrections Facility are from California.

The facility remained locked down on Wednesday.

Prison spokeswoman Michelle Deherrera said the riot erupted just before noon Tuesday and required the help of local law enforcement agencies to subdue the prisoners. Sixteen inmates were taken to hospitals and another 30 were treated at a medical facility at the prison, she said.

Deherrera said no prison staff or assisting law enforcement officers were injured during the riot.

Beckham County Sheriff Scott Jay said he saw “mass fighting all over the yard” when he arrived at the prison Tuesday. He said the riot was the worst he's seen at the medium-security prison.

In addition to California prisoners, Machak said inmates from Colorado, Idaho, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Vermont have been housed at the prison over the past 12 years.

Beckham County District Attorney Dennis Smith said Wednesday that no charges have been filed in connection with Tuesday's riots, but that could change.

“We haven't had anything turned over to us yet, but common sense would tell you that charges are probably going to be filed,” Smith said. “We've filed cases against individuals from this prison before.”

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