More than a dozen Pennsylvania prison employees suspended following inmate death

Tyrone Briggs, 29, died after an "inmate-on-inmate assault" at the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy on Nov. 11.

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By Sarah Jackson

More than a dozen employees at a Pennsylvania state prison have been suspended following the death of an inmate earlier this month.

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel suspended 13 employees without pay while the department and Pennsylvania State Police investigate the death of Tyrone Briggs, 29, according to a department press release issued Saturday.

Tyrone Briggs died following an inmate-on-inmate assault at the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy.Pennsylvania Department of Corrections via AP

Briggs died at the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy in Frackville, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 11, according to an earlier press release.

He had become unresponsive while waiting to be processed into the prison's restricted housing unit after getting into an altercation with another inmate. Briggs was taken to the medical triage area in the prison, where employees began CPR on him, but he was pronounced dead within two hours.

Among those suspended are medical and security staff. The names of the suspended employees have not been released.

"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," Wetzel said in the Saturday press release.

Briggs was committed to the Department of Corrections in 2008 and had been at the prison since Aug. 2011. He was serving a 15-to-30 year sentence for rape of a child.