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The front gate at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center prison Wednesday May 6, 2020, in St. Gabriel.

An inmate at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel was killed early Monday inside the prison, allegedly at the hands of another prisoner.

The Louisiana Department of Corrections released almost no information about what happened, including the cause of death and the names of both men involved. Officials provided no explanation for withholding the names.

The incident occurred around 2 a.m. Monday, DOC spokesman Ken Pastorick said in a news release sent Monday afternoon.

He said one prisoner has been charged with second-degree murder following an investigation by the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office and is being held in "investigative segregation."

The autopsy will be performed this week, officials said. 

Pastorick declined to release any additional details Monday.

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The prison has experienced significant staffing shortages in recent months, forcing corrections officials to rely on overtime. The vacancy rate was more than 30 percent several months into the pandemic. 

A female guard who alleges she was raped by an inmate last year pointed to chronic understaffing and broken cell doors, two factors that she said combined to create chaotic conditions inside the prison.

The Edwards administration recently requested a $21.5 million budget increase for the department, which would allow the state to give corrections officers a raise in hopes of reducing massive turnover rates.


Email Lea Skene at lskene@theadvocate.com.