3 inmates, 2 staff injured in disturbance at Ware State Prison

Georgia Department of Corrections says incident is under control, facility is on lockdown

WAYCROSS, Ga. – Three inmates and two staff members were injured during unrest at a state prison in Southeast Georgia that began Saturday night, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

A golf cart was set on fire and windows were smashed during the melee at Ware State Prison in Waycross, Georgia, and officers had to deploy “non-lethal ammunition” to bring the scene under control, the department said in a statement Sunday.

The statement says there was “no major damage to the facility” reported and that none of the injuries were life-threatening. The disturbance began at around 10:45 p.m. Saturday night, and the facility was locked down by around 1 a.m. Sunday, officials said.

Georgia State Patrol, the Ware County Sheriff’s Office and Waycross Police Department confirmed their agencies responded to an incident at the prison. Waycross police told News4Jax they sent five officers to help secure the perimeter around the prison.

Some of the disturbance was streamed on social media. The cellphone video from inside the prison has gone viral.

“Those videos were shot by inmates on contraband cellphones they brought in,” said John Eason, a former Georgia Department of Corrections officer who worked at the Ware State Prison for 10 years.

Eason said he resigned two weeks ago.

“We have been breaking policy -- very short staff,” he said.

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