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Indiana Prisoners Riot in CCA Prison

On July 6, 2001, hundreds of Indiana state prisoners held at the Otter Creek Correctional Complex in Wheelwright, Kentucky, rioted. The prison is owned and operated by the private, for profit, Corrections Corporation of America. The riot lasted nine hours and involved prisoners throwing televisions, sinks and toilets out of windows and burning clothes, bedding and mattresses. No one was seriously injured but the remote mountain prison was extensively damaged.

Indiana prison officials said the riot, which began in a recreation area and then spread, was "under investigation" and three prisoners suspected of "prompting the disturbance" have been moved back to Indiana. No reason or motive for the uprising was given in media accounts.

On July 12, 2001, CCA announced the prison warden, William Wolford, had been fired and on July 14, Wolford's top assistant, David Carrol, was also fired. The reason for the firing were unspecified "various policy violations." The firings came shortly after Indiana prison officials met with CCA officials. During the uprising, 75 Kentucky state police troopers and 15 Floyd county sheriff's deputies surrounded the prison to prevent escapes.

Source: Lexington Herald Leader.

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