Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Daniels' Office: Riot A "Relatively Minor Incident"

If I hadn't heard it with my own ears, I wouldn't have believed it. During WTHR's 11:00 p.m. newscast, Dave MacAnally quoted a spokesperson for the Governor's office as describing today's prison riot as a "relatively minor incident." (See video clip here) Let's face it, the inmates took over portions of the prison for several hours, setting fires and vandalizing the facility, two prison employees and seven inmates were injured and, according to WTHR, prison employees were held hostage for a short time. That's not a "relatively minor incident."

There's an interesting item in the Star tonight. It's reporting Arizona officials had already decided against sending any new inmates to New Castle because of "security concerns" with the facility. The Star writes:

But even before Tuesday's riot, Arizona officials had decided to stop sending inmates to the New Castle prison because a recent visit raised "serious security concerns.

"Dora Schriro, director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, visited the New Castle Correctional Facility on Thursday and found insufficient staffing for her state's 630 inmates, said Katie Decker, a spokeswoman with the department. Schriro also was concerned about where officers were stationed.

"She advised the operators of that prison that she was going to halt the transfer of inmates until these issues were resolved," Decker said. "There were serious security concerns.

"Decker said only 37 correctional officers were assigned to the Arizona inmates Thursday. She could not say what that number should have been but said 131 officers would have been required if all 1,260 Arizona inmates had already been transferred.

She declined to comment on whether those staffing levels could have contributed to the riot.

Arizona's concern that the facility was not adequately staffed matches some of the concerns expressed by prison employees to local media following the riot. Officials for the Daniels' administration, however, were quick to dismiss those concerns, including Daniels. "Daniels said the fact that the prison is privately managed did not have anything to do with the riot, and his office released a history of disturbances at Indiana correctional facilities to help support his point," the Star reported. "In fact, the management there responded beautifully, as did the public authorities," said Daniels, who has sought to privatize parts of state government. It doesn't look like Arizona is buying the explanation though. The contract appears to be in question as far as they are concerned according to the Star report.


Wilson46201 said...

All three major local broadcasting stations pre-empted lucrative afternoon programs to cover this "kerfuffle" -- it was also carried widely nationally on cablevision. Poor Mitch is going have to spin a lot faster to blow this prison riot off the political radar...

Corina said...

Gary, I really enjoy your blog even though I do not always agree with you. You articulate your thoughts so beautifully that I like to read a different opinion of ideas.

However, I am sad to say it is time for me to leave your site because the ramblings on one left wing lunatic, Wilson, are tiresome. He accuses others of changing the topic, something which he is guilty of himself, and continually calls people names. The childish bickering that goes on is getting old and he simply cannot accept the fact that the November 2006 election is over.

Therefore, I am saying goodbye. I can better use my energy elsewhere. I could not leave without saying THANK YOU for all the time you have put in to your blog. You have sacrificed to produce this page and I wish you every continued success.


Gary R. Welsh said...

Corina (and I'm not sure that's who you are), I have taken issue with many things Wilson has said on this site, but he at least takes ownership of his comments. The anonymous feature of the comments here has been turned off for now because certain anonymous commenters continually leave defamatory and mean-spirited comments here. I have deleted a number of Wilson's comments in the past, along with these anonymous comments. If you were sincere Corina, you would have no problem visiting this blog--after all, you can view the posts without looking at the comments.

indyernie said...

"Poor Mitch is going have to spin a lot faster to blow this prison riot off the political radar..."

This NON-riot is getting a lot of attention. A news cycle or two and it will be over and forgotten.