One-third of the Arizona inmates transferred to serve their sentences in an Indiana prison are violent criminals, including 25 who were convicted of murder, reports the Indianapolis Star. Prison officials said inmates were chosen based on their behavior in prison, not their criminal records. An advocate for prisoners’ rights was surprised by the news, saying officials left the impression with the public that violent offenders would not moved to the New Castle Correctional Facility, which is managed by Boca Raton, Fla.-based GEO Group. “That’s not what they said they were going to send,” said Celia Sweet, former president of the Indiana chapter of Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants.
The state never misled anyone, said Department of Correction Commissioner J. David Donahue. Indiana’s deal with Arizona allows medium-security prisoners and bans only sex offenders, prisoners with discipline problems, and recognized gang members. Several weeks after their transfer to New Castle, inmates started a riot that led to the injuries of eight prisoners and two staffers. Last week, 27 Arizona inmates and one Indiana inmate were charged with various crimes stemming from the April 24 uprising, include rioting, intimidation, criminal confinement and theft.