Fire started in trash can during 2nd Texas prison disturbance involving Idaho inmates

November 14, 2018

A prison official walks through the Idaho State Correctional Institution on June 26. The state houses hundreds of inmates at a facility in Texas, which on Nov. 5 and Nov. 11 experienced disturbances involving Idaho inmates.

EAGLE PASS, Texas — A disruption involving 24 Idaho inmates incarcerated at the Eagle Pass Correctional Facility in Texas led to one inmate starting a fire in a trash can, according to the Idaho Department of Correction.

It was the second disturbance in one week involving Idaho inmates at the Texas facility.

The 24 inmates are all facing disciplinary action following the group disruption around 5:40 p.m. Mountain time Sunday, according to an email from IDOC spokesman Jeff Ray.

The disruption began after a group of prisoners assaulted an inmate inside a housing unit and refused orders to return to their cells, according to Ray. Inmates covered windows with sheets and security cameras with toilet paper and poured soapy water on the floor. A microwave oven and an exercise bike were also damaged.

The prison’s tactical team entered the unit and ended the disruption around 7 p.m. Mountain time when one of the inmates started a fire in a trash can.

This is the second reported incident in a week’s span involving Idaho inmates facing disciplinary actions at the Eagle Pass Correctional Facility. On Nov. 5, a prison guard suffered minor injuries following a group disturbance with 11 Idaho inmates.

The Eagle Pass Correctional Facility is about 150 miles southwest of San Antonio. It is a private prison, staffed by the The GEO Group, Inc., a Florida-based firm operating private prisons. The facility is leased to the Idaho Department of Correction, and as of Nov. 12, 549 Idaho prisoners live there.

IDOC officials have expected to have about 700 prisoners housed in Texas by the beginning of November. That’s due to a lack of prison beds in Idaho. Correction officials have proposed to lawmakers a $500 million prison expansion package to help accommodate the growing inmate population. A great deal of that money would be used to fund a new 1,500-bed prison in Idaho.

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