No names have been released, but FDOC officials reported all parties sustained non-life-threatening injuries and should be able to reach their families.
WEWAHITCHKA — Seven guards and one inmate were injured Wednesday morning in what prison officials are calling a “major disturbance” at the Gulf Correctional Institution (GCI) annex, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.
No names have been released, but FDOC officials reported all parties sustained non-life-threatening injuries and should be able to reach their families. FDOC reported that because of the quick response of institutional staff and special response teams, the situation was brought under control and resolved within a half hour, although the facility remained under lockdown as of Wednesday afternoon.
“The officers at Gulf Annex showed remarkable courage and bravery today as they rapidly brought the situation under control and restored the facility to safe operation," FDOC secretary Julie Jones wrote in a news release. "I am proud of the work they did today and their unwavering commitment to public safety.”
Details were sparse later in the day, and FDOC officials have yet to establish what led to the incident, which involved inmates from multiple dorms.
“At this point, it would be premature to go back to a cause,” said Michelle Glady, FDOC communications director. “Staff is still gathering those details and interviewing witnesses.”
FDOC reported the disturbance broke out about 8:15 a.m. Wednesday and involved several inmates housed in multiple dorms within the prison. An exact number of inmates involved has yet to be determined, but those involved will be placed in confinement pending disciplinary review, officials reported.
The incident is being investigated by FDOC's office of the Inspector General.
GCI’s disturbance comes amid a drought of people opting for a career as a state correctional officer. Earlier this year, state senators called the shortage a crisis, stating that about 17 percent of jobs in Northeast Florida’s prison were vacant. About a week ago, Gov. Rick Scott signed the state’s budget, which included pay rate increases — from entry salaries of $30,900 to $33,500 — for correctional officers in an attempt to entice more prospective employees and retain them for longer.
An earlier version of this story appears below
WEWAHITCHKA — One inmate and six staff members were injured in what the Florida Department of Corrections called a "major disturbance" Wednesday morning at the Gulf Correctional Institution Annex.
FDOC said the disturbance involved several inmates housed in multiple dorms, and the facility remained on lockdown hours later.
All injuries were non-life-threatening, FDOC reported, and the involved inmates have been placed in confinement pending disciplinary review.