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More than 100 inmates involved in riot at Calipatria State Prison

October 19, 2010 |  5:02 pm

Calipatria State Prison in Imperial County was placed on lockdown Tuesday after a riot broke out, prison officials said Tuesday.

More than 100 inmates were involved in the melee at Facility A, a maximum security prison yard for general population prisoners, authorities said. Fourteen inmates were injured, with 10 hospitalized for injuries ranging from severe cuts to gunshot wounds.

Guards used pepper spray to help quell the violence, which erupted about 10:38 a.m. Monday, according to officials with the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

At least four rounds were fired from Mini-14 semiautomatic rifles, according to a statement released by Lt. Jorge Santana, and no guards were injured in the incident.

It was not clear how many guards fired the weapons.

Calipatria State Prison houses more than 4,100 inmates.There was no immedate word on the condition of those involved in the melee or what provoked it.

Investigators with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Deadly Force Investigation Team are looking into the cause. The Office of Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review and the Imperial County district attorney’s office were also informed.

Calipatria State Prison opened in 1992. The institution’s mission is to provide long-term housing for both minimum- and maximum-custody male inmates. The Imperial County facility houses more than 4,100 inmates and employs 1,280 people.

-- Andrew Blankstein
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