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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

PR: Merrimack County jail max security inmate uprising

Press Release from Merrimack County Corrections Department

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Press Release from Merrimack County Corrections Department

At approximately 0815 this morning, 12-14 inmates housed in our maximum security Delta unit on the second deck, refused to lock down in their cells.

Locking in is a standard requirement for inmates.

The inmates had been told that they needed to clean the unit and unless they did, television privileges would be curtailed. Some inmates objected.

One or two inmates proceeded to throw paper and other items off the second tier onto the floor of the first tier. Officers were then removed from the tier for officer safety.

The facility is in full lock down and will remain in lock down until the situation is resolved.

During this incident, several inmates barricaded the stairs leading up to the tiers with sheets and other material from their cells. They then wet the barricade with water and soap. Later some inmates destroyed televisions and sprinkler heads. Some of these inmates wrapped their faces with masks made from their clothing

The Special Response Team (SRT) and the crisis negotiation team have been mobilized.

The Merrimack County Sheriff’s office responded to our request for back up and or on scene to assist as needed.

Boscawen police are providing perimeter security.

The Central New Hampshire Special Operations Unit has been activated to provide back up assistance as needed.

Merrimack County Department of Corrections operates the jail on a concept called direct supervision. What that means is that corrections officers are on the unit during the day.

In this unit we have officers on the tier during tier time. At any one time, there are 18 inmates out of their cells. They can read, watch unit television, and play cards, shower, or exercise in the outdoor yard.

Our officers train for these contingencies. This is the only the second such incident that has occurred in the last five years.

A coordinated investigation of the incident will be conducted between the Sheriff’s Department and Corrections Department

Visits have been curtailed until the situation has been stabilized.

During this lock down, inmates in other units will receive sandwiches for lunch in their cells.

An update will be provided as the situation requires.

Point of Contact

John Vinson