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Summer Uprisings in Three Southern Jails

As temperatures rose last summer, so did tensions in some southern jails.

Guards at the Craighead County jail in Jonesboro, Arkansas, used tear gas and stun guns to regain control of a cell block that housed 27 prisoners. Four prisoners received minor injuries during the May 7, 2002, incident and were transported to a nearby hospital. The takeover, which began after guards started a search for drugs and contraband, lasted approximately 45 minutes.

An apparent cell block takeover on August 6, 2002, involving 40 to 45 prisoners at the Talladega County Jail in Talladega, Alabama began while the jail was already locked down due to a smaller uprising earlier in the day. The earlier incident resulted in four guards being slightly injured and taken to a local hospital. The jail, which was designed to hold 120 prisoners, presently holds about 200.

Over 100 prisoners took control of Bellwood Detention Center, an adjunct of the Fulton County Jail in Georgia, after guards attempted to turn off a football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Dallas Cowboys because it was "rack time." The August 24, 2002, incident, which began between 11:00 and 11:30 p.m., ended peacefully around 4:00 a.m. when Atlanta and MARTA police entered the cell block and found the prisoners in bed. No injuries were reported.

Sources: Memphis Commercial Appeal, Augusta Daily, Atlanta Journal Constitution

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