Four former prison guards were arrested this week for allegedly using excessive force against inmates at the Wabash Valley Corrections facility. The incident stemmed from a fight that broke out on August 26. According to a statement from the prison, the fight was instigated by one of the corrections officers charged in the case.
Wabash Valley Spokesman Rich Larson says after the fight was contained, one of the officers who assisted in containing the inmates suffered a heart attack, and died shortly after. After he was transported to a local hospital, three additional guards allegedly assaulted one of the inmates involved in the fight as he was being transported to a segregated area of the prison.
Larson says the four officers charged had been trained on how to properly use force when necessary, but failed to heed that training.
“We have what we call a ‘continuum of force’ that trains them on how and when they have to use force,” he says. “It’s always the minimal amount of force needed to control the situation. They get that training as they start, and every year as refresher training, so it’s a constant, and they did not follow their training.”
All four men have been charged with felony assault and have been fired. The case is now in the hands of the Sullivan County prosecutor.