A federal jury awarded $751,500 in damages yesterday to eight Lorton Correctional Complex prisoners and two former prisoners who said they had been beaten four years ago by 16 correctional officers.

The jury award stems from an Oct. 3, 1986, incident in which the 10 inmates were being transferred by vehicle from Central Facility at Lorton to cellblock Q of the facility in Occoquan. The transfer was necessary because of crowding at the prison, said Linda Delaney, one of the lawyers for the inmates.

The inmates, who had been confined to their cells but who were about to be released into the general population at Central, balked at being taken to another part of the prison where they would have to stay in their cells, Delaney said.

The prisoners calmed down after they were assured they would lose no personal property in the move, Delaney said. But when they arrived at Occoquan, she said, they were met by correctional officers who had braced themselves for the arrival of a hostile, unruly group.

"The officers removed their nametags and {formed} a 'Welcome to Occoquan' committee," Delaney said.

According to statements filed by the prisoners, the guards dragged them, handcuffed and chained at the ankles, off the wagon and into the cellblock, cursing and kicking them on the way.

But according to papers filed by the officers and their supervisor, contained in court files, the inmates were "assaultive, uncooperative and generally of nasty disposition."

Injuries suffered, the memos said, were from the inmates' own resistance. The District considered the guards' use of force to be within the limits required of the situation.

Claude Bailey, a spokesman for the D.C. Corporation Counsel's Office, said the city planned to ask U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth for a reconsideration. Failing that, he said, the city would appeal.

"We don't feel the jury verdict is quite proper," Bailey said.

"I think it was fair," said David Edwards, one of the former inmates who was involved in the incident.

"I don't think we were rewarded like we should have been rewarded, but I think it was fair."

Edwards said that he suffered a swollen jaw and back pain from the kicks he received that day. "I was beaten all over," he said.

The jury assessed damages against the 16 officers individually. Each inmate got roughly the same amount, although the awards varied according to the alleged severity of the beatings.

Most of the $751,500 award was for punitive damages against the guards, which the District is not legally required to pay.

Named as defendants in the suit were correctional officers Raymond Barnes, James Bryant, Phillip D. Bullock, Leslie C. Childs, David P. Dalton, Luay Sesse-Kalid, Herbert King, Robert Newkirk, George M. Cutler, Roland Jackson, Reginald Nickens, Frederick Shuler, Lavel D. Johnson, Dana E. Marshall and Rita Goodall, as well as Capt. Mario Randall, their superior.

The others who filed the lawsuit were Darryl Covington, Tracey Dew-Bey, Lee Roy Ferguson, Raymond Gant, Charles Harris, Larry Lee, Leo Wright, Charles Barber and Donald Hunt. Hunt has since been released.