NEW CASTLE, Ind. (AP)
Inmates set fire to mattresses and paper in the courtyard and destroyed furniture and windows before the prison was secured, officials said. The disturbance came six weeks after the first of some 600 Arizona inmates began joining 1,050 Indiana prisoners at the facility, about 45 miles east of Indianapolis. Indiana Department of Correction Commissioner J. David Donahue said he has delayed the transfer of 600 more inmates from Arizona until authorities can reassess the condition of the prison. Donahue said the riot began after a group of inmates from Arizona disobeyed orders and took off their shirts in the prison's recreation area to show staff they wouldn't comply with orders. "This system is different than what they are accustomed to," he said. Some of the newly arrived inmates had complained about a lack of recreation and other programs, said Trina Randall, a spokeswoman for GEO Group Inc.
Inmates had complained about being moved, which was prompted by the state's shortage of prison space. The injured staff members suffered cuts and scrapes, while the injuries to inmates involved tear gas exposure and minor cuts. All seven inmates were treated at the prison, Randall said.