“Snitch” Arrival May Have Provoked Ca. Prison Riot


A riot that left 17 inmates injured at a private prison in California’s Mojave Desert may have been triggered by the arrival of a “snitch” in violation of usual procedures, the Los Angeles Times says.

A preliminary investigation suggests that a violent brawl between white and Latino inmates broke out after a white informant was attacked in the prison yard, said Marvin Wiebe of Houston-based Cornell Cos. Inc., which runs the prison. He said that informant usually are not sent to private prisons, which lack protective custody arrangements.

The disturbance escalated because of a policy that bars guards at private prisons from using force to quell a violent uprising, said the California Department of Corrections.

There was no “heads up” about the newly transferred inmate, which often happens with a prisoner who may merit special attention, Wiebe said.

The 288-bed prison is a collection of single-story structures with flat roofs that resembles an old elementary school, surrounded by high fences, rimmed with razor wire. California sends low-risk inmates there, such as those convicted of drug possession or burglary.

Link: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-prison4dec04,1,2569715.story?coll=la-headlines-california

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