Vermont inmates implicated in Kentucky prison uprising

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(Host) A team of officials from the Vermont Department of Corrections is heading to Kentucky in the wake of a prison uprising at a privately operated correctional facility in Kentucky. The Lee Adjustment Center houses 418 Vermont inmates.

According to the Corrections Corporation of America, which operates the facility, the disturbance started Tuesday night when nine inmates destroyed an observation tower in the prison yard. The group included four prisoners from Vermont.

Subsequently prison buildings were damaged and one building was set on fire. More than a hundred of the prison’s 800 inmates were involved in the continuing disturbance, which lasted for three hours.

Vermont Corrections Commissioner Steve Gold says the only injuries were to two Vermont prisoners. One sustained a serious hand injury. Gold says his department will conduct a joint investigation of the incident with the Kentucky Department of Corrections.

Gold says it’s unclear how the uprising started. He says there was no indication that there were serious problems at the Lee facility. Earlier this year Vermont prisoners had complained of overcrowding at another facility operated by the Corrections Corporation of America.

(Gold) “As a result of that they moved all of the inmates to the Lee facility, which is a much more spacious campus-style facility. So, I think the Corrections Corporation of America has been working hard to address the concerns that we had. That said, I have spoken with CCA today expressing my concern that there be absolutely no retaliation against any Vermont inmates as they go through the process of restoring that facility.”

(Host) The Lee facility is a medium security prison. Gold says the Vermonters being housed there have been convicted of a variety of crimes – but none are considered high security risks.

Gold says the Vermonters involved in the uprising have likely run afoul of Kentucky law.

(Gold) “There’s no question that they have potentially run afoul. I anticipate there will be charges brought and they will be tried in Kentucky.”

(Host) Gold says the names of the Vermont inmates won’t be released while the investigation of the disturbance is under way.

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