A prison riot in Texas that broke out over the weekend will lead to at least 2,800 federal prisoners being relocated to other facilities. The prison riot broke out in South Texas over the weekend, and there has been so much damage that much of the facility has been deemed uninhabitable.
Though the inmate riot has now been brought under control, U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokesman Ed Ross told the Associated Press that they are continuing to negotiate with the prisoners and figure out where and when to move them.
The prison riot started on Friday with reported discontent among prisoners over medical services. Though the prisoners were not heavily armed, they did have pipes to use as weapons.
Lackluster medical care in prisons is a common complaint of prisoners, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, especially among illegal immigrants. Some of their complaints included things like unreasonably long waits for medical attention, no access to emergency services, and lack of access to prescription medications.
It is not clear yet where the prisoners will be relocated, but they represent the majority of inmates at the Willacy County Correctional Center in Texas, according to CNN. About 1,000 inmates won’t be moved because they didn’t take part in the ruckus. Those who did take part in the riots had refused to perform their work duty.
Willacy County Correctional Center is located in the southern tip of Texas, and most of the prisoners involved in the riot are considered “criminal aliens.”
It will take about six or seven days to relocate the prisoners who were involved in the riot, in which there were just a small number of injuries. Two corrections officers and three prisoners were hurt.
The company that runs the prison, Management & Training Corp. (MTC), issued a press release in which they explained their plans for relocation.
“Once all the inmates are moved, we will begin assessing the damage,” said Issa Arnita, director of corporate communications for MTC. “Soon after the disturbance began yesterday afternoon, inmates set three small fires which were quickly extinguished.”
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Arnita said in the statement that prisoners made their way out to the recreation yard from their cells after setting fire to almost a dozen housing units. Damage from those fires has made those units uninhabitable. Tear gas and non-lethal force was used to bring the situation under control.
The prison riot in Texas was unusual in regards to the sheer size of inmates who participated.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]