Two inmates killed in a Nebraska prison riot on Sunday appear to have been murdered by other inmates and were serving terms for sex crimes against children, said state corrections director Scott Frakes, the New York Times reports. Officials were not sure if they were targeted for that reason. “We don't have any good intel or indication of what contributed” to riots at Tecumseh State Correctional Institution, Frakes told a news conference with Gov. Pete Ricketts. He said that inmates had complained of a lack of activities, but that he did not sense that discontent was ready to boil over. “Corrections is a business of risk,” he said. “There's always a potential for something bad to happen in a prison.”
Most of Nebraska's prisons are badly overcrowded, though Tecumseh is not. Employees say the prisons are understaffed and suffer from high turnover, while civil liberties groups complain of poor inmate living conditions. Ricketts hired Frakes this year with a mandate for reform, and the state is conducting a review of the system and will propose changes this fall, the governor said. Two prisoners were hospitalized for injuries suffered in the riot. One was shot in the leg by a guard and the other was hit by a rubber projectile fired by a guard.