OK: DOC officers fired in prison inmate’s death

This has more details than the usual inmate death news article.  According to the article, an inmate in the maximum security prison set fire to his own mattress.  It then took staff over an hour to respond, at which point the inmate was unconscious/dead from smoke inhalation.  As the subsequent investigation uncovered, the security manager received a report five minutes after the fire was started…and then ended his shift and left prison grounds without notifying anyone.  According to the article, the security manager “reportedly told investigators he didn’t check on it ‘because inmates build fires to heat up coffee all the time. I didn’t think it was that severe.'”  Read the article here.

I do not know what is more frightening – staff’s clear laxity and the resulting inmate death, or that inmates are building fires “all the time” in a maximum security prison.  This is not a campsite and those are not Boy Scouts earning a badge.  Nobody should be building a fire.

Compounding the error is that the smoke alarm system did not work due to tampering and staff (the same feckless security manager) was not doing their jobs to regularly check it to make sure it worked.  So, if I’m reading this correctly, you have a facility in which inmates are building fires “all the time” but you don’t think making sure the smoke alarm system works is important.

Someone call Smokey the Bear.

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