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Disturbance at CCA's Mineral Wells Private Prison

Hundreds of prisoners caused a disturbance by refusing to leave the yard at Mineral Wells Monday night, and two workers at the prison were later treated for injuries according to the Associated Press. The minimum-security lockup is operated by Corrections Corporation of America, as a 2,100-bed pre-parole facility.

Dallas Morning News reported that the Mineral Wells police were summoned to the prison at 9:15 PM.  Another AP story reports that fires were visible in the yard, and that the prison is now on lockdown. The article quotes CCA spokesperson Louise Grant:

It took about 3 1/2 hours and the use of "approved, non-lethal chemical agents" to bring the situation under control and begin processing the inmates back into their housing units, Grant said.

"At this time, no indication has been provided for the cause of the participants' actions," Grant said.

It could have to do the prisoners' frustration with the pre-parole system, which we've written about and Scott Henson has also covered in Grits for Breakfast. Problems that led one prisoner to describe Mineral Wells as "the abyss." In fairness to CCA, they haven't set up the pre-parole system, they just profit from it.

Although the story reports that a chemical agent was used against the prisoners, there are no reports at this time of the prisoners receiving medical treatment for any injuries.

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