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Military Prison Locked Down

On March 2, 1996, Pfc. Thomas Enochs, a prison guard, told a prisoner at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas not to wear a T-shirt on his head. The unidentified prisoner then assaulted Enochs, who set off a body alarm to summon other guards. Enochs was taken hostage and prisoners seized the unit, Number 3 wing. Other guards who arrived to rescue Enochs were beaten by prisoners and ran away.

After a negotiating team failed to gain Enochs' release more than 140 Military Police stormed the wing at 5 a.m. using fire hoses and pepper spray to free the guard and quell the uprising. The MP's freed Enochs and locked prisoners back in their cells in a matter of 40 minutes. Four guards and three prisoners were reported to have suffered minor injuries during the uprising. Enochs remained hospitalized in satisfactory condition.

The prison was locked down for at least three days following the uprising and portions remained on indefinite lockdown. The U.S. Disciplinary Barracks houses military prisoners from all four armed forces that are serving long terms. PLN has reported past uprisings at the prison resulting from bad conditions and harsh treatment.

Source: Seattle Times, Corrections Digest

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