Prison file image

One of the barred gates used to seal off sections of the Idaho State Correctional Center on Thursday, July 18, 2019.

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BOISE — The Idaho Department of Correction is continuing to investigate Saturday’s commotion in a Kuna prison that resulted in property damage and five inmates receiving treatment at a local hospital.

The department released more details Tuesday but did not share what caused inmates at the Idaho State Correctional Center to begin destroying property and to ignite a fire in a trash can.

“The IDOC refers to Saturday’s events as a ‘disturbance’ to not prejudice the outcome of any investigation,” department spokesman Jeff Ray said. “The facts gathered through the investigation will determine what, if any, crimes took place.”

According to the Department of Correction, several residents started destroying property around 4:30 p.m., and the trash can fire prompted staff to evacuate all three tiers of the H block, totaling around 300 inmates. The incident was isolated to H-block, Tier 1, Ray said, but two adjacent 96-bed tiers were also evacuated. The block is a minimum- and medium-custody housing unit, Ray said.

The entire facility was placed on secure status to ensure the safety of everyone living and working at the facility, Ray said, adding that the department’s tactical team, the Correctional Emergency Response Team, was activated.

A request for assistance was also made to area law enforcement, fire and emergency services as per the Department of Correction’s emergency response protocol. State and area law enforcement partners maintained a presence around the secure perimeter of the institution while Department of Correction staff cleared the affected housing unit, the Department of Correction said.

“Order was restored by late evening,” Ray said. According to the Department of Correction, residents of the two unaffected tiers in H-block were returned to their living areas late Saturday night.

The men who were living on H-block, Tier-1 have been relocated to other facilities in the South Boise Correctional Complex pending the outcome of the investigation. “Those residents will be given opportunities to contact their families soon,” Ray said.

The Ada County Sheriff’s Office also is investigating the incident and the tier remains closed as a crime scene, he added.

Four residents who were hurt during the incident were evaluated and treated at a Boise hospital and returned to Department of Correction custody. A fifth resident was evaluated at a hospital on Monday for an injury he apparently suffered during the disturbance, and no staff members were hurt, Ray said.

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