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November 18, 2019

13 prison employees suspended following inmate death in Schuylkill County

Tyrone Briggs, 29, was pronounced dead on Nov. 11 following an altercation with another inmate

Thirteen employees at a Pennsylvania correctional facility in Schuylkill County have been suspended without pay following the death of an inmate last week, officials said. 

Tyrone Briggs, 29, was pronounced dead on Nov. 11 at State Correctional Institution-Mahanoy in Frackville, the Department of Corrections announced on Saturday. The suspended staffers include medical and security personnel. The department did not release the names of the staffers, who were suspended after an initial review of the incident.

Pennsylvania State Police have launched an ongoing investigation into the incident. The employees will remain suspended until police conclude their investigations. 

"Whatever the outcome of this case, we are going to be as transparent as possible, and the DOC will take whatever remedial measures deemed to be necessary," John Wetzel, Department of Corrections secretary, said in a statement.

Briggs died nearly two hours after he was involved in an altercation with another inmate in his housing unit at 3:20 p.m., according to the prison's release. He became unresponsive as he was waiting to be processed into restricted housing following the incident. 

CPR was performed by medical staff, according to the release. Briggs was pronounced dead at 4:56 p.m. 

Briggs was serving a 15- to 30-year sentence for child rape at the SCI Mahanoy. He was convicted in Philadelphia County and began serving his sentence in 2008. He was moved to the medium-security facility in 2011. 

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