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Riot Breaks Out at Indiana Prison

Authorities secured the prison perimeter and confirmed that no inmates escaped, although some were still out of their cells, Indiana State Police Sgt. Rod Russell said. All staff members were accounted for.

Authorities did not release the conditions of the two injured staff members, though Donahue said neither suffered serious injuries.

A "full-scale riot" broke out at a medium-security men's prison in New Castle, Ind., on April 24, 2007, according to the mayor, and pictures taken from television helicopters showed at least two fires burning in the courtyard. (AP Graphic)

The injured staff members suffered cuts and scrapes, while the inmates' injuries involved tear gas exposure and minor cuts. All seven inmates were treated at the prison, said Trina Randall, spokeswoman for GEO Group Inc., a Florida company that contracted last year with the state to manage the prison.

The prison, built in 2002, can house about 2,200 inmates. It currently has about 1,000 prisoners from Indiana and 630 from Arizona.

In March, Arizona and Indiana reached an agreement on housing up to 1,260 Arizona inmates.

Arizona Department of Corrections spokeswoman Katie Decker said at least some of the transferred inmates had complained about being moved, a step her agency said was necessary because of the state's shortage of prison space.

"They're obviously resentful because they had to leave the state," she said, adding that it was too early to say whether the transfers played any role in the riot.

Decker said the inmates sent to New Castle were "carefully picked" before being transferred and could have "no predisposition to violence." The inmates arrived about six weeks ago, officials said.

The prison housed an average daily population of 450 in 2005, according to the DOC web site. It also has a psychiatric facility that treats inmates who are bused in from other prisons.


Associated Press writers Bob Christie in Phoenix and Ken Kusmer in Indianapolis contributed to this report.

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© 2007 The Associated Press