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Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cell-doors open, trouble pours out of private prison - The Denver Post

Cell-doors open, trouble pours out of private prison - The Denver Post

A disturbance at the privately owned Hudson Correctional Facility 25 miles northeast of Denver International Airport was sparked when cell doors in a unit housing 41 inmates from Alaska inexplicably opened early this morning.

Charles Seigel, spokesman for the Cornell Companies, which operates the prison, said his company is investigating whether the doors opened at about 1:20 a.m. in the prison's segregation unit because of an electronic malfuction or human error.

The segregation unit houses inmates who have disciplinary issues and have caused problems, as well as inmates in protective custody, Seigel said.

When inmates realized the cell doors were open, many left their cells but most returned a short time later. However, as many as a dozen began destroying sprinkler heads and computers. They also tried to break out of the building by breaking windows.

Seigel said the inmates who vandalized the unit were housed there because of disciplinary problems.

The disturbance caused widespread water damage. The unit was littered with water, paper and smashed computers.

Seigel said that two guards who were in the unit fled to a captain's office where they locked and barricaded the door. He said some of the inmates outside the office tried to protect the two guards in the captain's office.

During the disturbance, which lasted until about 7:30 a.m., the two guards were in constant communications with prison officials and were able to watch what was going through windows, Seigel said.

Seigel said prison officials decided to let things cool down before acting. At 7:30 a.m., the prison sent in its emergency response team. The team used tear gas to subdue the inmates.

No corrections officers were injured. But Seigel said some of the inmates had bruises and abrasions. He said the instigator of the disturbance suffered the worst injury, a cut hand.

Seigel said rioters will be charged under Colorado law.

Seigel said the entire prison, which houses 877 inmates from Alaska, is on lockdown, with all inmates remaining in their cells. He said the lockdown will remain through at least Thursday.

Richard Schmitz, spokesman for the Alaska Department of Corrections, said the Hudson Correctional Facility opened in November 2009. Only Alaska inmates are housed there.


Sherlock said...

These prisoners were released by accident because the poorly trained new guards were playing with the security system. A number of prisoners were hurt and guards had to barricade themselves inside an office to keep from being harmed.

Anonymous said...

how can these inmates be tried under Colorado law? There here in Colorado against there will?? How could that be considered due process? Why not close the prison and send those inmates home to Alaska.