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Inmates Take Over Unit at US Prison Amid Fears of Riot

Inmates Take Over Unit at US Prison Amid Fears of Riot
Source: WANE 15

Approximately 100 inmates at the Stillwater Prison in Bayport, Minnesota, have taken control of an entire unit of cells, prompting concerns of a potential riot. Law enforcement and emergency response teams, including police and firefighters, have rapidly converged on the facility in response to the escalating situation.

Emergency Lockdown and Inmate Refusal

The Minnesota Department of Corrections declared an emergency lockdown at the all-male Stillwater Prison on Sunday morning. The lockdown was initiated after around 100 inmates in a single unit refused to return to their cells. Fortunately, no injuries have been reported thus far.

Inmates Take Over Unit at US Prison Amid Fears of Riot

Source: YouTube

Reports indicate that tactical teams are making preparations to enter the prison to secure any correctional officers who may be inside. There are plans to deploy chemical irritants if deemed necessary. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) command has requested multiple ambulances, and a major incident response bus is also en route to the prison. In an abundance of caution, the EMS command has requested up to ten additional ambulances to supplement the eight already on the scene.

All staff members have been evacuated from the common areas of the affected unit. However, two correctional officers are reportedly safe in a secure control area known as “the bubble.” They remain in communication with the prison’s command personnel.

Crisis Negotiation and Special Operations

The Department of Corrections (DOC) has activated members of the Crisis Negotiation Team in an attempt to resolve the situation peacefully. Additionally, DOC’s Special Operations Response Team has been activated as a precautionary measure.

The incident at Stillwater Prison is believed to have been prompted by inmates’ grievances, specifically their lack of access to clean water, ice, and showers for several days due to severe understaffing. Michelle Gross, a spokesperson for Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB), stated that they have heard from several inmates who claim that the takeover is a peaceful protest. According to Ms. Gross, inmates have been experiencing sweltering conditions and discolored water in their cells. They have resorted to melting ice for drinking water, but due to the shortage of staff, there hasn’t been enough to meet their needs.

Challenges of Inadequate Cooling

Stillwater Prison, like several other facilities in Minnesota, lacks facility-wide air conditioning. This absence of cooling systems resulted in miserable conditions during a particularly hot July. Both staff and residents were advised to stay hydrated and limit physical activity. Some units received jugs of ice water. Nurses were placed on high alert, regularly checking on the well-being of those at the facility, with special attention to those with preexisting medical conditions. The challenging conditions in the 109-year-old stone building have been a recurring concern.

The Human Aspect of Tensions

Zeke Caligiuri, in his short story ‘There Will Be Seeds For Next Year,’ drew attention to the link between rising temperatures and heightened tensions during his time at Stillwater Prison. He emphasized that when human needs are not adequately addressed, tensions can flare, especially when exacerbated by external factors. Speaking on the matter, Mr. Caligiuri noted that addressing the fundamental human needs of incarcerated individuals plays a crucial role in preventing such tensions and conflicts. He likened it to the impact of extreme heat in cities, where increased violence can be observed.

Inmates Take Over Unit at US Prison Amid Fears of Riot

Source: KAAL

Stillwater Prison – A Historic Facility

Built-in 1914, Stillwater Prison stands as Minnesota’s largest close-security institution for adult males. The facility comprises seven living units inside and an additional minimum-security unit outside the main perimeter. In conclusion, the situation at Stillwater Prison has sparked concerns of a potential riot as inmates have taken control of a unit, citing grievances related to inadequate living conditions and lack of access to basic amenities. Law enforcement and crisis negotiation teams are working to address the situation and ensure a peaceful resolution.

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