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Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Six inmates at Arkansas prison take control of unit

Six inmates at Arkansas prison take control of unit

The incident occurred at about 3:30pm in Arkansas' Tucker Unit prison on Monday, according to Arkansas Department of Corrections public information officer Solomon Graves.

UPDATE (6:38 p.m.) As of 6:30 p.m. all staff have been released, Graves said, meaning the last of the three correctional officers has been let go.

Graves did not provide any details about the inmates who took the keys and held the officers.

Correction Department Director Wendy Kelley said during the incident that the officers inside the prison were OK, but she did not respond to subsequent calls seeking comment.

The spokesman said in a statement that an inmate who was hurt was also released and was taken to a local hospital. On July 22, three inmates escaped from individual holding pens and attacked two guards and a fellow inmate after the breakout.

The six inmates involved in the disturbance have been moved to Varner Supermax Unit. "The Maximum Security Unit will now begin the process of returning to normal operation", said Graves. Three correctional officers are reportedly in the area where the inmates have control of the doors.

Corrections officers "come to work and do a hard job", Graves said. The department said it was not informed of the shots fired until it was reported by the Arkansas Times.

Emergency response teams with the Department of Corrections are on the scene, as are officers with the Arkansas State Police. He said Monday's seizure took place in a recreation area separate from the site of the July altercation.

Earlier, officials told the station they had been in contact with the inmates, and conversations were moving in a positive direction. Then, three warning shots were fired, according to Graves.

The Tucker Unit high security prison is located off Arkansas 15 in Jefferson County about 25 miles northeast of Pine Bluff, Ark.

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