MADISON, NE — In the wake of last Thursday’s disturbance at the Tecumseh State Prison that left two inmates dead and more injured, jails across the state are taking notice.
Captain Terry Kotrous of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office oversees the Madison County Jail and has a hunch that staffing and turnover rates created a climate where a revolt could occur in Tecumseh.
“On the money they’re trying to pay these people to do a job that could cost them their life, they’re not getting paid enough. That’s why they have the turnover rate and not enough time to train these people,” Kotrous said. “I feel sorry for some of the people that are in there that aren’t trained because something bad might happen to them.”
Kotrous says they’ve seen hunger strikes from inmates but nothing near the scale of an organized disturbance. He credits a competent, veteran staff for the jail’s safety.
“It’s got to say a lot about the staff at the facility,” Kotrous said. “They’re just a bunch of great people to work with, they do an excellent job and on a day to day basis, they keep the inmates safe and in the jail.”
But still, the jail staff trains for emergency techniques on a quarterly basis. In the training they discuss the jail’s priorities.
“Our first main concern is keeping the public safe, keeping our staff safe, and keeping our inmates safe,” Kotrous said. “So we have policies that take care of all three of those.”
There are multiple ongoing investigations into the Tecumseh Prison disturbance.