Officers at Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward have regained control after 62 prisoners barricaded entry to their housing unit and began destroying property, according to a press release from the Alaska Department of Corrections.
Prisoners initially barricaded the Hotel Mod housing unit at 9 p.m. on Tuesday night, and correctional officers immediately locked down the facility. After accounting for the well-being of all staff and prisoners, Special Operations Response Teams from Kenai and Anchorage were deployed to the scene and arrived at around 3 a.m.
Superintendent Shannon McCloud from Wildwood Correctional Facility in Kenai said on Wednesday that nine correctional officers from Wildwood were sent as part of the response team and have since returned to Kenai.
“They were trained for these kinds of incidents and knew what to do and how to handle the situation,” McCloud said.
The inmates were protesting an early cell inspection. They damaged fire suppressant systems, plumbing, computer lines and glass, corrections officials said.
“Officials at the prison estimate the damage at roughly $100,000,” Corrections Department spokeswoman Sarah Gallagher said in an email response to questions.
Non-lethal force was used by the correctional officers to gain compliance of the unit, and by 6 a.m. DOC had full containment of Hotel Mod. No injuries to staff or prisoners have been reported, and nurses and medical staff were on hand to assess injuries. Every inmate was cleared by medical and decontaminated.
Prisoners in the disturbance will face internal discipline, Gallagher said, and possibly additional criminal prosecution as Alaska State Troopers investigate
“Those offenders involved have been placed in a more restrictive housing environment,” Gallagher said. “No charges have been filed at this time as DOC is still conducting the investigation.”
The maximum security Spring Creek Correctional Center can house 500 prisoners. The facility has a decentralized campus design, with three “houses” that are separated from the administration complex by a recreation field, according to the department.
This story will be updated as more information comes out.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.