Massachusetts Jail Suffers $200,000 in Damages After Chaotic Standoff Between Inmates and Staff
The Bristol County House of Correction in Massachusetts was recently at the center of a chaotic six-hour standoff between inmates and staff that left the facility in ruins. The incident caused an estimated $200,000 worth of damage and resulted in shocking photos that have since been released by the police. The photos reveal the aftermath of the standoff, which took place in two housing units at the jail. The images show rows of hallways and rooms completely destroyed, with doors and windows broken and trash everywhere. In addition to the destruction, the photos show makeshift hammers, axes, and shivs that were used as weapons by the inmates.
A brief update on the incident happening at the Dartmouth jail. We will share more details as they come available: pic.twitter.com/IkOofTGf1C— Bristol County Sheriff's Office (@BristolSheriff) April 21, 2023
The Bristol County Sheriff's Office has reported that the standoff began when the inmates were supposed to be moved to allow for construction at the jailhouse that would have helped keep them locked in their cells. The housing units have communal bathrooms, which means that, under state law, the jail cannot lock inmates in their cells.
The correctional facility had intended to install toilets, door locks, and bunk beds designed to prevent suicide in the cells, but the detainees declined to vacate the premises for the upgrades. As tensions escalated, the correctional officers ceased the construction and swiftly evacuated the vicinity of the prison to avert being taken captive, ensuring that the doors were securely fastened as they ran, as per The New York Post.
Update 4:11 pm. One unit is under control, no injuries in the operation. We are working on an adjacent housing unit. More details to follow.— Bristol County Sheriff's Office (@BristolSheriff) April 21, 2023
After seizing control of the premises, the prisoners issued a set of requests to the correctional facility personnel. These demands comprised access to televisions, reduced prices for the canteen, an expanded selection of magazines, and the implementation of vocational and substance abuse initiatives. "The Sheriff responded to each of their demands in writing, saying that most of what they wanted were changes he campaigned on and was going to institute, such as more programs," said Bristol County Sheriff's Office spokesman Jonathan Darling to Fox News. "When the inmates received his written response, they tore it up and threw it out the window."
The correctional institution chose to engage in ongoing discussions with the prisoners as they awaited additional support. Eventually, a contingent of 130 to 150 officers was dispatched to the facility armed with flash bangs and pepper spray to quell the insurrection. According to authorities, there were no casualties when the facility was reclaimed, and the individuals involved in the confrontation were transferred to different cells or detention facilities in neighboring counties.
It is anticipated that the detainees will face charges for vandalism as the correctional facility endeavors to catalogue the full extent of the destruction wrought upon the housing units, each of which typically accommodates 70 to 75 inmates. "Ultimately, the funds [for repairs] will come from our budget or the state's Department of Capital Asset Management," stated Darling. "We will seek restitution from the inmates who face charges in connection with the standoff."
The incident has sparked debates about the effectiveness of prison reform and the need for better rehabilitation programs.