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Lockdown at ACI cellblock, pepper spray used

MAXIMUM SECURITY An aerial view of the maximum security prison at the ACI in Cranston.  Photo courtesy of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections
MAXIMUM SECURITY An aerial view of the maximum security prison at the ACI in Cranston. Photo courtesy of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections

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Posted: 12/23/2011 4:20:37 PM
Updated: 12/23/2011 5:11:31 PM

Correctional officers used pepper spray to subdue inmates in a cellblock of the Maximum Security facility of the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston late Friday, following an incident involving an inmate found to have a banned item.  Seven correctional officers are undergoing medical evaluation at hospitals.

Rhode Island Director of Corrections A.T. Wall said none of their injuries were life-threatening, and none of the inmates suffered serious injuries.

Wall said an inmate was found to have an unauthorized item.  He would not identify the item or the inmate, but he added, it was not a weapon.

"When the inmate was told to surrender it, and they were handcuffing him for violating our rules, he began to resist," Wall said. "Other inmates joined in, about a half dozen.  Officers were called to the scene to break up the incident." 

"The staff did use pepper spray in order to subdue the inmates," Wall said.

 He said the inmates have been secured and put in holding cells.

Wall said that internal investigators and the State Police are on the scene, the facility is in lockdown, although the incident involved only one cellblock in Maximum security. 

"The entire facility is locked down, visits have been cancelled, inmates will be fed in their cells until we get to the bottom of what happened and why."

"The facility is secure and the public is not at risk," Wall said.

 More with WPRO's Carolyn Cronin



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