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1/16/2013 6:00:00 AM
Prison guards attacked, hospitalized

Erin Taylor
Miner Staff Reporter

Updated with prison response.

Two prison guards were hospitalized over the weekend following an assault by a dozen inmates, according to sources at the Arizona State Prison-Kingman.

The assault reportedly happened Saturday in the medium-security Hualapai unit.

Officials with the Arizona State Prison referred questions about the incident to Management and Training Corporation, the Utah-based private company contracted to run the prison.

"Two correctional officers were injured by a small group of inmates at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Kingman on Saturday, Jan. 12," wrote Issa Arnita, a spokesman for MTC, in an email. "Staff immediately responded and contained the incident within minutes; the appropriate protocol was followed. Both officers were taken to the hospital, treated, and later released. The unit where this incident took place was put on lock down.

"Officers have identified the inmates who were involved in this incident. They have been placed in detention pending the outcome of the investigation. The case has been turned over to the Arizona Department of Corrections Criminal Investigation Unit."

According to sources with knowledge of Saturday's attack, a corrections officer was attacked after telling an inmate to get rid of some trash in his cell.

The officer attempted to pepper-spray the inmate, but was overpowered. Another officer came to his aid, but he was also assaulted.

About 12 to 15 inmates kicked and punched the officers while they were on the ground. Both were taken to the hospital.

One was said to have suffered a concussion, but prison officials did not confirm that.

Sources within the prison said Saturday's attack is an example of regular assaults at the facility.

One source said assaults by inmates on staff occur about once a month.

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Related Stories:
• MCC's Kearns: Prisoner problems are over
• Prison walkout short-lived

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2013
Article comment by: no name

@ ex c/o, thank you for clearing up what I was going to say. As a sibling of an officer out there, they put their life on the line on a daily basis. Fights, riots and assaults happen anywhere and everywhere. Its part of the job and part of the system.

Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Article comment by: Another Officer

An assault is still an assault. One officer at least gets pushed, punched, beat down at least once a month.

Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Article comment by: UNKNOWN OFFICER

thanks to all you who support us.The fact is we are out numberd and honestly i dont think a little can of pepper spay will stop more than one inmate trying to hurt you! we are under paid and work excess amounts of over time just to make sure there is at least two officers in a dorm!

Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Article comment by: JOE SMOOTH

that article wasso wrong.... Staff assults rarely happen , mostly just shoving you out of they way to flush something and yes they do a great job, keeping the public safe,us and inmates,.So dont try and make it worse then what it is !

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Article comment by: More Than One Problem

It's one thing to commend the officers for preventing further escalation of the incident, and another thing to continue to allow private (or public) prisons to jam so many individuals togther and be supervised by so few guards with inadequate protection. It becomes like a pressure cooker about to explode. Private prisons, and so many other for profit enterprises must be required to STOP putting high profits ahead of timely providing all necessary tools for the guards and reasonable care facilities for the inmates.

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Article comment by: BOB ` Johnson

Proud citizen! Thank you for correct information, Corrections is one of toughest jobs to do in law enforcement. The average life of a c/o is about 55 years old.

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Article comment by: Proud citizen

@ Frank how can you say that? The public and the other prisoners were kept safe and thanks to the quick actions of the officers on duty no other officers were injured. As Ex CO said those officers were greatly out numbered and they still went in there and did thier job well. For those officers to walk away from that situation with no more than a few minor injurys tells me that the correctional officers at that private prison are very capable of keeping the public, officers and other prisoners safe. My hats off to everyone that was there that day. It takes a lot of courage to walk into a prison dorm out numbered 50 to 1 armed with no more than a set of hancuffs and pepper spray. Then to have the situation under control in a matter of minutes. Good job guys and I hope some day this community will give you the respect you desearve.

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Article comment by: Not The Same

@ Low Risk Offenders, Really?

"I hope these are NOT the same inmates being released daily to work on the Mohave Community College campuses."

No they are not! The ones you are seeing there and other places are actually Low Risk County Jail Inmates.

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Article comment by: Ex CO

@Low Risk. These are medium custody inmates at the Hualapai unit. The ones who work at MCC and around town are out of the low custody inmates at the Cerbat unit.

@Off Safety. They never get dogs or tasers, they're a privately run prison. The more money they spend on equipment, the less money the owners pocket in the end. It'd be like Walmat giving away free stuff every time you walk in through the door. Could they afford to? Yes. Will they? No, because it cuts into profit.

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Article comment by: mr. parker

They're already outnumbered. A friend of mine was a deputy sheriff at a large county jail. He went into a bay and was hit on the back of the head by an inmate with a mop handle. He then was handcuffed and the inmate stole his keys. This was before all those cameras were installed in jails.

He went down and had about a dozen inmates looking at him. He told them don't try anything. If you help me, you'll receive no punishment.
They used the mop handle and pounded their hands on a water pipe.
Finally, someone checked the noise and the alarm went out.

The inmate didn't realize that floor guards did not carry keys to open outside doors. They found him in a bathroom. I won't share details but he was paraded around to show what happened when you attack a guard before he received any medical treatment.
My friend told me there were no assaults on guards for almost a year after that.
I hope you CO's recover fully.

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Article comment by: Ex CO

@Frank. Seriously? Do you truly think staff assaults, riots, and escapes are things that only happen in private prisons?

These guards who work at this private prison are courageous and do the best job they can with the tools given to them. Remember they aren't dealing with 2 inmates in one little cell. They have to walk through dorm rooms filled with 50+ inmates every day. Each building holds 6 of these dorm rooms, so your talking more than 300 inmates with 2 guards walking around and trying to keep them compliant.

Also, these guards do it at a fraction of the cost that a state or federal CO does it for.

I hope the 2 COs weren't badly hurt and hoping for a speedy recovery. If you are reading this, and work in that godforsaken place then God Bless you, and know that there are those of us out here that do appreciate you.

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Article comment by: Low Risk Offenders, Really?

I hope these are NOT the same inmates being released daily to work on the Mohave Community College campuses.

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Article comment by: Officer Safety

Since officers are not allowed to carry REAL weapons- how about arming them with attack dogs? Nobody wants to deal with a biting dog not even the bad guys in prison. They should also be equipped with tasers and use them if they ever feel threatened. Take control of the prisons and stop allowing punks to call the shots.

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Harris

So much for privately operated prisons keeping us, the guards and the other prisoners safe.

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