2000 Prisoners Riot and Destroy South Texas Immigration Prison

  • Posted on: 22 February 2015
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

RAYMONDVILLE, Texas (AP) — As many as 2,800 federal prisoners will be moved to other institutions after inmates seized control of part of a prison in South Texas, causing damage that made the facility “uninhabitable,” an official said Saturday.

Ed Ross, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, said the inmates who had taken control are “now compliant” but that negotiations were ongoing Saturday in an effort for staff to “regain complete control” of Willacy County Correctional Center.

“The situation is not resolved, though we’re moving toward a peaceful resolution,” FBI spokesman Erik Vasys said Saturday evening.

It wasn’t immediately clear what progress had been made through the negotiations, but Sheriff Larry Spence said there were no hostages involved in the standoff and only minor injuries reported. Spence said the inmates “have pipes they can use as weapons.”

Management & Training Corp., the private contractor that operates the center for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, said about 2,000 inmates became disruptive Friday because they’re upset with medical services and refused to perform work duties.

MTC spokesman Issa Arnita said in a statement that prisons officials have begun moving the inmates and that the process would continue into next week.

Arnita said prison administrators met with inmates Friday to address their concerns but that the prisoners “breached” their housing units and reached the recreation yard. The Valley Morning Star reports fires were set inside three of the prison’s 10 housing units.

Authorities say about 800 to 900 other inmates are not participating in the disturbance. The inmates being held at the facility, which is in far South Texas more than 200 miles south of San Antonio, are described as “low-level” offenders who are primarily immigrants in the U.S. illegally.

“Correctional officers used non-lethal force, tear gas, to attempt to control the unruly offenders,” Arnita said in the statement.

No inmate breached two perimeter security fences, and there’s no danger to the public, he said.

The large Kevlar tents that make up the facility were described in a 2014 report by the American Civil Liberties Union as not “only foul, cramped and depressing, but also overcrowded.”

The report said that inmates reported that their medical concerns were often ignored by staff and that corners were often cut when it came to health care.

Brian McGiverin, a prisoners’ rights attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project, said that he was not surprised inadequate medical care could ignite a riot. He said medical care is grossly underfunded in prisons, especially in ones run by private contractors.

“It’s pretty abysmal with regard to modern standards how people should be treated, pretty much anywhere you go,” he said.

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UPDATE 7:01 p.m. EST: RAYMONDVILLE, Texas

— As many as 2,800 inmates will be moved to other facilities one day after several hundred prisoners seized control of part of a federal prison in South Texas, an official said.

A previous Associated Press report said about 2,000 inmates seized control of the facility.

The Willacy County Correctional Center in Raymondville is now “uninhabitable due to damage caused by the inmate population,” U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokesman Ed Ross said in a statement.

Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence on Saturday declined to discuss the main points of the negotiations but said there are no hostages involved and only minor injuries reported.

Authorities say about 800 to 900 other inmates are not participating in the disturbance. The inmates being held at the facility are described as “low-level” offenders who are primarily immigrants in the U.S. illegally.

------------

Original story below

RAYMONDVILLE, Texas (TheBlaze/AP) — A sheriff said negotiations are continuing with about 2,000 inmates who’ve seized control of part of a federal prison that primarily holds immigrants with criminal records in what he called an “uprising.”

Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence didn’t go into detail about the negotiations Saturday but said there are no hostages involved and only minor injuries reported.
Law enforcement officials from a wide variety of agencies converge on the Willacy County Correctional Center in Raymondville, Texas on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 in response to a prisoner uprising at the private immigration detention center. A statement from prison owner Management and Training Corp. said several inmates refused to participate in regular work duties early Friday. Inmates told center officials of their dissatisfaction with medical services. (Image source: AP/Valley Morning Star, David Pike)

Law enforcement officials from a wide variety of agencies converge on the Willacy County Correctional Center in Raymondville, Texas on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 in response to a prisoner uprising at the private immigration detention center. A statement from prison owner Management and Training Corp. said several inmates refused to participate in regular work duties early Friday. Inmates told center officials of their dissatisfaction with medical services. (Image source: AP/Valley Morning Star, David Pike)

Management & Training Corp., the private contractor that operates the Willacy County Correctional Center in south Texas for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, said inmates became disruptive early Friday. They’re upset with medical services and refused to perform work duties.

The contractor said inmates “breached” their housing units and reached the recreation yard. The Valley Morning Star reports fires were set inside three of the prison’s 10 housing units.

From The Blaze: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/02/21/uprising-negotiations-continu...

Comments

Fuck yeah!

"I don't understand! They're burning their own neighborhoods...! What good can that do?"

BURNING PRISONS! are you locked in a cement cell with shit food, abusive men with guns and no medical attention??? i don't think so. stolen from your family, your loved ones. prisons are not housing. please try and rid yourself of the ignorance that is killing people.

Calm down... I think the comment you're replying to was full sarcasm on those reactionary or liberal tools who don't get it when people riot in the street.

Now imagine if @'s were in good enough contact with enough prisoners that we could be ready to immediately support when this sort of thing pops off. Like, doing blockades around the prison to stop or at least impede the necessary reinforcements from getting in to quell shit. Yeah, that's what I'd like to do.

I once floated the idea of trying to do some kind of blockade or lockdown to prevent the transfer of prisoners to the death house for executions. The death row prisoner I was talking to replied: "they would shoot holes in you."

I imagine during a riot situation they'd be even less friendly toward anyone trying to interfere.

Not saying don't do it, just sayin' if you're gonna, be prepared.

Well, I'm not sure they'd immediately starting shooting folks on the outside. But yes, it carries a greater risk than a lot of things we're currently doing, which is why that kind of preparation is something I'm interested in talking about.

Read up on outside support during attica

Got any links for starters? Shitloads have been written on the Attica revolt.

There are many options less reckless than isolated blockades interfering with armed officers. Noise demos outside the prison, demos and occupations of prison administrative offices in cities, distribution of information about the revolt in neighborhoods where the inmates likely have family members (this is usually very appreciated), call ins against repression, writing to prisoners held in isolation after the rebellion, writing to prisoners in other facilities to inform them of the events, etc....

Many of these methods are even more important now than during the revolt. The most courageous prisoners are likely facing terrifying consequences. The prison admins are very unaccustomed to outside solidarity so even small demos can help protect hose facing repression.

Check out prisonhungerstrikesolidarity.org and https://dignityatwestville.wordpress.com for examples of these practices in the u.s. Read http://thewildbunch.noblogs.org/post/2014/04/22/storming-the-bastille/ for accounts of solidarity with a very similar immigrant detention center revolt in amigdaleza, Greece.

All good things, though none of those directly open more space for rebellion while it's going on. I don't think level of risk should be the primary criteria by which an action is judged or valued.

os cangaceiros had an interesting approach to prison revolt and solidarity that's worth looking at.
there's a summary of what they did/were about here: http://eng.anarchopedia.org/Os_Cangaceiros
this is their writings:
http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/os-cangaceiros-a-crime-called-fre...

You gotta walk before you run though, and a small number of people catching felonies because they're trying to do something that requires more people, tactical experience, and material resources than are at hand yet doesn't help the rioting prisoners either.

prisonhungerstrikesolidarity.org is a dead link prisonhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com is there tho

Every prison warden has a car, and has a home address. That car can be followed home, a few blocks at a time until his house is located if he is not dumb enough (as some wardens are) to let it leak out more easily. A warden's home is a great place for protests demanding better conditions-especially after his yuppie neighbors start complaining about "his prisoners" or their friends coming to their neighborhood!

Like

Smuuug... They didn't used Facebook to build mass movement. Insurrectos! (sarcasm ends here)

If they were here illegally why were they not sent back to where they came from? Holding them and denying them proper medical care is unjust! I know what its like to be locked up and denied medical and it's not pretty. I live in Oklahoma. Our jails are over crowded, for petty things. It's pretty fucked up that you spend more time in prison for a drug charge than you do for murder! We have cops killing people and getting4-5 year's . People caught with1 joint in their car can now have it seized and do major jail time. I guess the government would rather let murders run the streets than a pot head. That I think is shitty.

When you shake and wake up to realize that the US government is a bunch of criminals fascist paedophiles who're into making billions out of killing tens of thousands of lives in a just few months for corporate takeover (à la Ukraine), then you'll realize the whole matter of "justice" is FORFEIT, and there is only social war.

The question I think more people should ask isn't what is good or bad, just or unjust, but rather how to deal with them and their hierarchy.

While we are on the subject of people "here illegally," let's talk about the colonists who swarmed onto Turtle Island like beetles from their ships, and resorted to germ warfare as well as new and exotic weapns to steal the entire continent. Now those who illegally invaded this continent have the nerve to say anyone else is "here illegally?" The migrants from south of the Rio Grande are of Indigenous descent, those calling them "illegal" are the descendants of the colonists and are still colonists themselves. It is ICE, Joe Arpaio, and all their buddies who are here illegally, in defiance of the laws of those whose land they steal. Let them get back on their fucking ships if they don't like immigration!

Fight the power. The sooner the feds wake up and realize if they don't make a plan to cede control to the people they'll have massacres and civil war on their hands, the better. We don't need a violent revolution, but it will happen if things dont change pronto.

Can you feel the repressed anger building up, fascists? Can you hear the poor children screams being stifled? Can you hear my voice that you tried to strangle and silence? You live for destruction, and that will be your own infamous end.

When it finally happens, it will happen suddenly, and no army robot will raise their rifle against their brothers and sisters, with enough solidarity grown. Don't think that what is happening now is permanent, you'll be lucky to escape with your members intact when shit finally gets real.

All the lies are already known, all the institutions as good as death camps, the intelligent and humane will have none of it, lest the implicated infect us, in our misery, with their megalomanic desire.

"The sooner the feds wake up and realize if they don't make a plan to cede control to the people they'll have massacres and civil war on their hands, the better. We don't need a violent revolution, but it will happen if things dont change pronto." Somehow I've been expecting that for years.

There's lotsa people all over the place who start to wake up about what the police is doing, but before they come with a revolutionary solution things might have gone really dark and ugly.

Things are getting real everyday, you know... Don't wait for a moment of rupture as it probably has already happened (Ferguson?) yet the collapse is a slow, dready, painful that creeps in instead of imploding all of a sudden. And there's still far too many people working along with a cheap smile on their faces.

It's more about making the wounds appear on the surface, and the daily servitude becoming distasteful as it actually is.

If they did landscaping, fast food and 24/7 reality TV it would be like the outside.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/race-multicultural/lost-in-deten...

The riots that broke out this weekend at a Texas prison featured in a 2011 FRONTLINE investigation erupted after years of complaints from inmates about poor conditions and abuse at the facility, and at least one previous protest.

Prisoners at the Willacy County Correctional Institution, most of them convicted for immigration or nonviolent drug offenses, set fire to the Kevlar tents where they are housed in a protest over medical care, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

The bureau said the prison was now “uninhabitable,” and Management and Training Corp. (MTC), the private company contracted to run the facility, said that all 2,834 inmates will be transferred to other facilities by the end of the week.

“It was certainly a predictable uprising, given the way in which BOP turned a blind eye to conditions at Willacy and other prisons,” said Carl Takei, a staff attorney at the ACLU National Prison Project who has been investigating conditions at the facility.

MTC spokesman Issa Arnita said that the BOP has dozens of monitors at the facility who ensure that inmates are well treated “in all aspects.” Those monitors are responsible for reporting any concerns to prison officials for correction. Arnita didn’t say whether BOP monitors had flagged any problems at Willacy. “Those are details that will come out in the full investigation,” he said, which the company will launch once the inmates are relocated.

In 2011, FRONTLINE uncovered more than a dozen allegations of sexual abuse by guards at the facility in Lost in Detention, as well as physical and racial abuse. At the time, Willacy was run by MTC for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The facility housed people who had not yet been convicted, but were awaiting immigration hearings. Guards were accused of harassing women for sexual favors, and in some cases sexually assaulting them. Other detainees were beaten by guards who cursed them with racial epithets.

That year, ICE transferred its detainees from Willacy, and handed control of the facility to the Bureau of Prisons. The bureau allowed MTC to keep the contract.

New allegations later surfaced. In June 2014, the ACLU issued a report on Willacy and four other privately run prisons in Texas, and found the inmates there are subject to abuse and mistreatment, and prevented from connecting with their families.

At Willacy, inmates are crammed 200 at a time into squalid Kevlar tents, with no private space, the report found. Insects crawl through holes in the tents. The open toilets regularly overflow with sewage, and in 2013 several inmates camped out in the yard in protest. “They treat us like animals,” one person told the the civil-rights group.

One inmate cited in the report said that some had talked about setting fire to the tents, but figured officials would just build them back up again.

“We completely disagree with and dispute” the ACLU allegations, Arnita, the MTC spokesman said, adding that they were merely anecdotal.

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