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Disturbance at prison not called riot

BY CARY ASPINWALL - Tulsa World Published: March 6, 2013
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“Inmates had fashioned weapons out of destroyed property and were throwing items at staff as they entered the pod,” the report states. “Bean bag rounds and pepper balls were used to gain compliance and protect staff.”

The inmates were secured in their cells by 5:41 p.m., according to the report. During the disturbance, the Cushing Police Department and the Payne County Sheriff’s Office were notified and provided “outside perimeter support,” Machak said.

Incident under review

“The incident is under review at this time, and that review will determine appropriate disciplinary actions, including referral for criminal charges regarding the destruction of property,” he said.

Inmates destroyed desks, computers, printers, telephones, televisions and microwaves, a PlayStation unit and video games, according to an email obtained by the World.

The records did not contain a cost estimate of the damage.

The contract monitor, a DOC employee, wrote in an email that the entire unit had the odor “of OC (pepper) spray and chemical gas lingering in the air, causing staff and this monitor to use tear gas mask to enter unit.”

Staff were using fans to settle the chemical gas dust and pull in fresh air, he said.

The Puerto Rican offenders will remain on lockdown status until further notice, officials said.

Last year, DOC officials proposed an amendment to state law governing operations of private prisons housing out-of-state inmates.

The amendment would have forced companies housing such inmates in Oklahoma to provide information if requested by DOC on riots, escapes or serious incidents. DOC would have been able to fine companies that did not comply, under the proposal.

Currently, CCA and other private prison operators are required to provide information to DOC on incidents involving Oklahoma inmates but not those from other jurisdictions.

A senate bill proposing the change authored by Sen. Don Barrington, R-Lawton, passed a vote of the public safety committee, but the measure has since been pulled, his staff said.

The change was proposed in response to a December 2011 prison riot at CCA’s North Fork Correctional Facility in Sayre, where 46 inmates were injured and scant information about the riot was released by the company.


Read the rest of the story on Oklahoman.com
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