Yesterday’s riot by Arizona inmates at an Indiana prison is the latest in a string of uprisings by prisoners shipped to other states and has renewed debate over the practice in Indiana, says the Indianapolis Star. The state signed an agreement last month to house Arizona prisoners at the privately managed prison in New Castle, In. The first 104 prisoners arrived March 12; 1,200 were expected altogether. About 600 have arrived so far. Officials said nine people — two prison workers and seven inmates — suffered minor injuries in separate disturbances involving about 500 Arizona and Indiana prisoners over two hours. Indiana temporarily halted the transfer of out-of-state prisoners to New Castle as they investigate the incident.
Commissioner J. David Donahue said Arizona prisoners may have been upset because Indiana prisons have different rules, including a ban on smoking and limits on personal items inmates can have in their cells. “The idea of bringing in people from another state who bring along their gangs, allegiances and different alliances immediately was a mixture that was bound to bring trouble,” said Indiana House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer. Before the riot, Arizona had temporarily stopped sending inmates to New Castle, citing “serious security concerns.” Dora Schriro, director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, visited New Castle last week and found insufficient staffing for her state’s 630 inmates.