Sunday, May 06, 2007

More Evidence Of Failures At New Castle

WISH-TV has really stayed on top of the prison riot at New Castle, doing several follow up reports. The latest aired at week's end and discloses some new e-mails from Arizona officials before and after the riot indicating that Arizona officials' concerns were not being addressed. WISH-TV's Pam Elliot writes:

Late Friday afternoon, I-Team 8 obtained the following emails from high-ranking prison officials in Arizona.

One came from the director of Arizona's Department of Correction to Indiana DOC Commissioner David Donahue. It was dated the day before the riot. It stated, "Basic security practices are lacking, like counts and inmate discipline. Simple modifications that were proposed last week haven't been implemented. "

There was another email, this time from the man sent here from Arizona to investigate after the riot. Ivan Bartos wrote, "I'm sick of being okey doked about some things and have had to breathe and bite my tongue to avoid being very confrontational about things. They still don't have accountability for their radios, we believe that at least one cell phone is in control of our inmates and they are not counting inmates correctly. My visit with Geo heavy hitters yesterday made me realize that regardless of what is being said, efforts to assign blame are underway."

And in an update by Mr. Bartos, he expresses concern about fires, because the alarm system and virtually all fire extinguishers were destroyed in the riot. He reports keys still missing, and no clear picture of what tools might be gone.

Late Friday night, I-Team 8 received a response from the Indiana Department of Corrections. It said that even before Arizona inmates arrived in New Castle, there was concern that the prison there would not be ready to accommodate so many prisoners so quickly.
Elliot says the Department of Corrections expects to release a report this week on the riot.

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