After two Texas prisoners were slain, the federal prison system in the United States was put on lockdown throughout the country.
Two prisoners were slain and two others were wounded in a gang brawl at a federal prison in Texas on Monday, prompting a worldwide lockdown of the federal prison system.
The event occurred at USP Beaumont, a federal prison in Beaumont, Texas, at 11:30 a.m. Monday. Two people acquainted with the situation informed The Associated Press that members of the notorious MS-13 street gang were engaged in the confrontation. The sources talked to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they were unable to discuss an ongoing inquiry.
The incident is only the latest evidence of significant violence inside the federal Bureau of Prisons, which is already under siege. In recent years, the organisation has faced a slew of problems, including significant staffing shortages, major personnel malfeasance, and a string of escapes and fatalities.
Fears of revenge and concerns that violence may spread to other institutions spurred the lockdown, which was implemented at the agency’s more than 120 federal prisons throughout the United States. Inmates are held in their cells for most of the day during a countrywide lockdown, and visiting is prohibited. Social visits at virtually every institution have already been postponed due to an increase in coronavirus infections among federal inmates.
A country-wide lockdown is a rather uncommon occurrence. The policy was adopted in April 2020, when coronavirus infections in prisons around the country started to rise, and again following the insurgency at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, and just before President Joe Biden’s inauguration later that month.
According to the Bureau of Prisons, officers at the Texas jail saw many prisoners fighting and reacted by securing the area. Following the incident, two convicts, Andrew Pineda, 34, and Guillermo Riojas, 54, were declared dead at a nearby hospital. Two other inmates were hurt and were transferred to a local hospital for treatment.
In the past several months, there have been a number of major security concerns in the federal prison system, including many prisoner killings and stabbings. Under heightened criticism of his leadership and in the aftermath of an Associated Press investigation that found pervasive corruption, misconduct, and other issues within the department, Michael Carvajal resigned earlier this month under heightened criticism of his leadership.
In recent years, many convicts have escaped from the Beaumont prison complex, and union leaders have denounced what they call a significant staffing issue at the facility. According to a June article by the Associated Press, the complex’s security is so inadequate that local law enforcement authorities privately laugh about its “open-door policy.”
Riojas was receiving a 38-year sentence for carjacking and interstate commerce interference. Pineda has been incarcerated at the jail since February after being sentenced to more than six years in prison on a racketeering conviction.
After breaking free from handcuffs, shanking two correctional officials who were bringing them to their cells, and stealing cell keys, two Beaumont convicts stabbed another inmate to death in the penitentiary’s special housing unit in November 2007. They were found guilty and given the death penalty. A Beaumont prisoner was strangled to death in his cell by two other convicts a few months later, one of whom was the co-founder of the prison group Dead Man Incorporated.
There are 1,372 male convicts at the Texas penitentiary.