Data show criminal activity among inmate firefighters

AP News
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Posted: Oct 12, 2015 2:23 AM
Data show criminal activity among inmate firefighters

A 10-year tally on criminal behavior by inmates assigned to firefighting camps shows firefighters are not immune to the violent behavior found in higher-security prisons, though officials said the rate of such occurrences is much lower.

The data provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reveal the same recent boom in contraband smuggling among inmate firefighters that prompted California to begin using drug-sniffing dogs and drug-detecting scanners at 11 of the state's 34 prisons this year. Possession of drugs and cellphones among firefighters peaked in 2013 with nearly 1,100 incidents of discipline for drug possession and nearly 1,000 for cellphones.

Among the most serious incidents, the 10-year totals from 2005-2014 were:

— 16 incidents classified as riots, which generally involve multiple inmates fighting.

— 402 assaults or batteries on fellow inmates.

— 43 assaults or batteries of staff.

— 35 weapons possessions.

— 32 indecent exposures.