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Prison Riot in Crowley County

By: KKTV 11 News
By: KKTV 11 News

Prison officials have regained control of the Crowley County Correctional Facilty near Olney Springs after hundreds of inmates rioted Tuesday night.

Colorado Department of Corrections spokesperson Allison Morgan tells 11 News that about 100 inmates were in the outdoor exercise area around 7:30 p.m. But when it came time to return to their cells, the prisoners began rioting.

Guards used tear gas to try and break up the disturbance. Prison officials then called in extra guards from other area correctional facilities for help. Morgan says no guards were hurt in the riot, but 13 prisoners were injured---one was stabbed and was in critical condition at last report. Another had been shot.

Morgan says the inmates set several fires and four living areas were damaged--one destroyed.

Morgan says the disturbance was likely a "turf war" between rival gangs in the facility. Some of the inmates involved in the riot have now been taken to other correctional facilites.

This is not the first time there's been unrest at the Crowley County Correctional Facility. In 1999, inmates who had just been transfered from Washington rioted when they refused to "lock down." That disturbance lasted about 6 1/2 hours. One inmate and one employee were slightly hurt.

Crowley County houses inmates from Wyoming, Washington and Colorado. The facility was built in 1998 and is designed to hold more than 1100 inmates who are at or below the "medium" custody level.


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