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Roof collapses at MTC-owned Diboll Correctional Center, trapping and injuring prisoners

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A suspended ceiling collapsed Saturday at a for-profit private prison in East Texas, injuring several prisoners and trapping several others who needed to be rescued.

The collapse happened in the day room of the Diboll Correctional Center, which is southwest of Lufkin. The facility is operated by the Management and Training Corporation under contract by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. According to the MTC website, it has a capacity of 518 prisoners. The facility has 136 employees, 97 security guards and 20 non-security personnel. The facility was built in 1995.

The Diboll Correctional Center was the site of a ceiling collapse Saturday, July 20, 2014.
The Diboll Correctional Center was the site of a ceiling collapse Saturday, July 20, 2014.
The Lufkin Daily News reports that one incarcerated person suffered critical injuries and several others suffered non-life threatening injuries. Diboll Police Sgt. Brandan Lovell told the Lufkin Daily News that 87 inmates were in the room at the time of collapse. The collapse sent several prisoners to area hospitals:

Several were transported by ambulance to Memorial Medical Center-Lufkin and Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin.

Memorial spokeswoman Yana Ogletree confirmed that six patients were transported there, with one listed as critical. That inmate was transported by helicopter to Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in Houston. Of the five remaining patients, two were admitted and three were in triage, being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Around 5:37 p.m., Ogletree gave a update that one inmate had been discharged from Memorial and that two more would likely be discharged, as well. Two patients were expected to be admitted to the hospital, with one likely to need surgery, Ogletree said. She said the range of injuries included scrapes and bruises as well as broken bones, contusions and lacerations.

Jennifer Stevens, spokeswoman for Woodland Heights Medical Center, said 13 patients from the collapse were taken to that hospital and that two were admitted. Both were in stable condition, she said.

The collapse happened as prisoners and their families were preparing for visitation. Katrina Salutan was with her daughter Aaliyah, 3, preparing to visit someone at the facility when the collapse occurred.

“There were all these police cars up here,” Salutan told the Lufkin Daily News. “One of the guards walked by. He told me that the ceiling fell down, and I asked him who was hurt and he said, ‘A few people.’ He doesn’t know.”

Visitation was suspended for the day.

For their part, local law enforcement were caught off guard and also had trouble getting answers from MTC. Lufkin Police Chief Gerald Williamson told the Lufkin Daily News that he had never handled anything like this at the prison and that, like Salutan, he wasn't getting information fast enough from MTC staff. 

“We are in a little bit of an odd situation because this is not our jurisdiction,” Williamson told the Lufkin Daily News. “The information has been very slow coming from prison staff. We don’t have any established protocol because we have never handled anything like this.”

Diboll Police Sgt. Lovell said response time from every area law enforcement agency was almost immediate, but echoed Williamson's concerns about how difficult it was to get information from MTC officials.

“I think Lufkin Police arrived before I did; even the chief and assistant chief are here,” Lovell told the Lukfin Daily News. “As far as what is going on inside, I am having to pull information from there. Even the guards don’t know what’s happening. I do know there is no threat of an escape. I think, given the situation, this has been handled as well as could be without getting any info from the inside.”

The Lufkin Daily News also reported that Major Ken Montgomery, an MTC official, stepped outside the gates only after the emergency response vehicles had cleared and offered this brief statement: “We’re good.”

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I spent 3 years on the Diboll unit, leaving in 9/2011. MTC, in my opinion, which is based upon observation, has a habit of faulty building maintenance, deceptive paper work covering up the questionable practices by maintenance, and more. I am NOT surpirsed MTC has been less than forthcoming with local officials, as evertything on Diboll is a "secret."

MTC is the same company that was at fault over the prison break in Arizona a few years ago, which resulted in the murder of  campers by the escapees. The Arizona DOC ripped MTC with their assessment of how this Utah based Corporation operated the prison .

Texas tax payers should demand a full & complete inquiry of the contracts they have with MTC & any other "private prison" contactor.


royalalpacas at aol

MTC staff recently murdered Kevin Grant at the ETTF via neglect and abuse.  They have since tried to kill the offender witness to the murder.  Mr. Grant died on July 6, 2014, with a body temperature of only 80 degrees, due to being left naked, without water and food, in his solitary cell for more than nine days.  



All the Texas Prisons need to be investigated on a regular basis. I have seen inmates that had polio,have their leg braces and special shoes taken away. Some have severe stomach problems and the doctors tell the tough, buy stuff on commisary as it is over the counter meds. They are indigent and cannot. The same for colds etc. They are to pay $100 to see the doctor to get a prescription. Few have it. Guards get intamate with the inmates. Others cuss and abuse them. Exspecially if they are blind or crippled. They steal from the imates and tear up their property. Even after reports to the FBI, nothing happens. They were left in Beaumont to weather out  Hurricane Ike, the roof going up and down. They are mocked, made fun of, personal information  is laughed at in front of others., given major cases for small things as bringing a little peanut butter to the chow hall to make the terrible pancakes taste better. The food is garbage and little of that. The list goes on and on. Their complaints are never answered,  I-60s are trashed.