FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP — A corrections officer at the local federal prison apparently shot and killed himself outside the facility Saturday night, authorities said.
Robert Pyott, 48, of the Rosenhayn section of Deerfield Township, died of what appears to have been a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to officials with the federal Bureau of Prisons.
Pyott was found unresponsive next to a vehicle outside the perimeter fence of the Federal Correctional Institution in the township’s Fairton section at 7:07 p.m., federal officials said. Prison staff began life-saving measures, but Pyott was pronounced dead at 7:27 p.m., they said.
“There were no signs of foul play, and the cause of death appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” prison spokesman Eric Williams said.
Prison officials are working with the FBI and state law enforcement agencies in the incident, he said.
Pyott has worked at the prison since March 19, 1995, Willams said.
Federal officials were not releasing additional information Monday.
Each federal prison has a crisis support team that assists staff and their family members, Bureau spokesman Chris Burke said. Additional support is offered by the bureau’s employee assistance program, he said.
The local prison is a medium-security facility for male offenders, according to the bureau’s website. The facility has an adjacent satellite prison camp housing minimum-security male offenders. The facility has about 1,400 prisoners.
Information on websites linked with corrections officers indicates the job can take it toll on those employees.
The website www.corrections.com reports that corrections officers have a 39 percent higher suicide rate than any other occupation. Corrections officers also have the second-highest mortality rate of any occupation, it reports.
A survey of almost 3,600 corrections officers in 2011 found that 44 percent of those officers suffered some form of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the website www.correctionsone.com. Twenty-seven percent of the respondents reporting having met the criteria for full post-traumatic stress disorder, the web site reports.
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