Continued violence at the federal corrections complex outside Beaumont, TX, has prompted the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to relocate most of the unit’s 1,500 high-security inmates to other prisons, says the Beaumont Enterprise. The shift comes after a rash of violence, including two inmate slayings and the stabbing of two correctional officers. As high-security inmates are transferred to other institutions, medium-security inmates will take their places. Officials hope the trade will break up a collection of violent inmates and decrease assaults.
Isaac Ortiz, president of the local union for federal prison workers, is hopeful the bureau’s plan will increase the safety of correctional officers and remaining inmates. Ortiz said understaffing and a lack of incentives for inmates to behave have contributed to the existing situation. He said that “federal sentencing laws don’t give them reason to be good. They are more violent. They are more brazen to confront each other and also the staff.” Both guards stabbed in November survived, but neither has returned to work. When the Beaumont Federal Correctional Complex opened in 1996, it was the bureau’s largest campus. Its population has grown from 4,100 to 5,100.