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Prison guards shoot two inmates during Folsom riot

December 7, 2011 |  4:05 pm

Folsom prison
California prison guards Wednesday shot at least two inmates at a maximum-security facility near Sacramento as officers tried to quell a riot involving some 50 prisoners, officials said.

In all, at least nine inmates were taken to Sacramento-area hospitals for treatment of stab wounds, gunshot wounds and blunt-force trauma after the melee erupted at 12:30 p.m. at California State Prison-Sacramento in Folsom, about  20 miles east of the Capitol.

The condition of the injured inmates and the cause of the disturbance were not immediately known, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The cause of the disturbance is "under investigation," Thornton said.

Sgt. Lavance Quinn, another prison spokesperson, said the incident occurred at Folsom's main maximum-security exercise yard. It was quickly contained by guards using pepper spray, rubber projectiles and Mini-14 rifles, Thornton said.

Quinn said a couple of prison guards who responded to the incident suffered minor injuries. But "none of the injuries were as a result of an inmate-on-officer assault," he said.

Thornton said officers are allowed to use deadly force when it is required to prevent themselves or others from being physically harmed, but the shootings will be investigated to make sure they were justified.

The prison has been placed on a "modified program," which means that inmates have limited movement and are essentially confined to their cells, officials said.

The facility opened in 1986 and is primarily used to house about 2,800 maximum-security inmates serving long sentences and those who have proved to be difficult to manage at other institutions,  officials said.

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-- Patrick McGreevy and Ann M. Simmons

Photo: California State Prison-Sacramento in Folsom in 2006.

Credit: Michael A. Jones / Associated Press

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