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Officials: Firing of 5 Guards Recommended

July 28, 1987

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) _ Corrections Director Robert Brown Jr. reportedly is considering whether to dismiss five prison employees for their parts in the death of an inmate in May.

Representatives for the five employees said Jackson prison Warden John M. Jabe recommended the firings.

Jabe, who has declined to comment on his recommendations, held disciplinary conferences with nine employees about the May 8 death of prisoner Oscar Rowls Jr. at the State Prison of Southern Michigan at Jackson.

Fred R. Parks, head of the state Corrections Organization, a guard’s union, said Jabe had recommended firing three officers. Attorney George Brannick said the warden had recommended the dismissals of two of his clients, a lieutenant and a sergeant.

Rowls, 41, died of asphyxiation after he was subdued by guards. Police investigated the death and a Jackson County inquest panel ruled it accidental.

Jabe then started disciplinary conferences for nine employees accused of breaking prison rules. Three corrections officers were charged with excessive force and five supervisors were accused of breaking other rules.

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