Racial Tension May Have Fueled KY Prison Riot


The burned and riot-torn buildings of Kentucky’s Northpoint Training Center will probably be torn down and rebuilt, says state public safety director J. Michael Brown. “We will have to start from scratch,” Brown said, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. Two hundred other inmates are living in the prison’s only inhabitable dorm after a riot last Friday night injured 16 people.

The burning and rioting started after dinner, when inmates were moving between buildings. After smoke started building in the dorms, inmates were evacuated to the yard, where prisoners set more fires. Six buildings were damaged extensively, and 700 of the prison’s 1,200 inmates were transferred to 10 other prisons around the state. Inmates had been on lockdown since Aug. 18. The lockdown was ordered after 10 to 15 Hispanic inmates assaulted a black inmate and a white inmate. On Friday, prison officials announced a “controlled movement” schedule – meaning inmates would be allowed to enter the yard on a dorm-by-dorm basis. That’s when the inmates began to riot and set fires. A woman who visited Northpoint the Sunday before the riot was told by a relative that he thought racial tensions would cause trouble at the prison.

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