Two inmates badly stabbed in California prison riot

Reuters News
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Posted: May 20, 2011 6:43 PM
Two inmates badly stabbed in California prison riot

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Corrections officers firing pepper spray and plastic rounds quelled a "large-scale riot" by about 150 inmates on Friday at the maximum-security California State Prison at Sacramento, prison officials said.

Two inmates suffered multiple stab wounds and most of the others involved sustained less serious injuries in the melee, which erupted just after 10 a.m. local time in an exercise yard, according to a statement issued by the state Corrections and Rehabilitation Department.

Those prisoners with more severe injuries, including the two who were badly stabbed, were being taken to outside hospitals for treatment, but the department said their condition was not immediately known.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities from prison officials, or of injuries to prison staff. The department gave no details about what sparked the riot or how long it lasted -- only that it involved "various groups of inmates."

"Staff utilized less-lethal rounds, pepper spray and one lethal round (warning shot) to quell the incident," the corrections statement said, adding that the entire prison has since been placed "on a modified program" pending further investigation.

The sprawling institution is in Represa, California, near Sacramento, and houses roughly 3,000 inmates, and employs some 1,700 staff.

Opened in 1986, the facility houses primarily prisoners serving long sentences and those that have proved to be management problems at other institutions.

(Reporting and writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Greg McCune)