700 inmates are being relocated from a privately operated state prison in northwest Arizona following two nights of unrest that injured eight corrections staff members and caused major damage to the campus.
Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) Director Charles Ryan exercised his authority to order the transport of the inmates to other facilities, according to a news release. A four-hour long disturbance that began with an assault among inmates in the 2,000 inmate minimum security Cerbat unit of the prison in Golden Valley ended about 10 p.m. Wednesday.
A second uprising that erupted Thursday night in the companion 1,400 inmate medium security Hualapai unit of the prison stretched into Friday morning. ADC Media Relations Director Andrew Wilder said the second incident was more volatile.
“This was a riot,” Wilder said. He said inmate destruction of portions of the unit rendered them uninhabitable.
Wilder said no one escaped and that all inmates are accounted for. “The perimeter of the prison was never breached at any time of either of these events,” he said.
Wilder said all injuries were minor. He said the prison is secure and that inmate movements are restricted during a lockdown that’s been implemented in both units.
Wilder said extra personnel are providing security at the prison and that an investigations team is trying to sort out which inmates are responsible for the officer assaults and criminal damage.
The same prison is the subject of a $7.5-million claim filed by the family of an inmate who died at a Las Vegas hospital January 19. The claim contends Neil Early, 23, was fatally injured during an inmate assault on January 16.
The same prison, operated by the Utah-based Management Training Corporation through a contract with DOC, was also the facility from which the July, 2010 escape of three inmates led to the murders of an Oklahoma couple while they were vacationing in New Mexico.