Inmate dies in altercation at Ky. federal prison

The incident raised questions about whether officials can adequately protect the more than 150,000 federal inmates across the U.S.


By Michael Balsamo
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A 50-year-old inmate died Saturday following an altercation with a fellow prisoner at a high-security federal prison in Kentucky, officials said.

Brian Bennett died after the fight at USP McCreary, a federal penitentiary in Pine Knot, Kentucky, the federal Bureau of Prisons said. Bennett had been in custody at the prison since January and was serving a 10-year sentence for distribution of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm as a felon.

The agency provided few details about the circumstances surrounding Bennett’s death. Officials said staff members at the prison were called to respond to an altercation between inmates around 1 p.m. Saturday and secured the area. Bennett was critically injured during the incident and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The federal Bureau of Prisons has been plagued by chronic violence, serious misconduct and persistent staffing shortages. The incident once again raises questions about whether officials at the embattled Justice Department agency can adequately protect the more than 150,000 federal inmates across the U.S

The Bureau of Prisons said it had notified the FBI, which is standard procedure when an inmate is killed while in federal custody.

USP McCreary houses more than 1,500 male inmates.

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