UPDATE (7:47 p.m.) “As of 6:45 p.m., the disturbance has been resolved,” said Solomon Graves, of the incident in which six inmates at the Tucker Maximum Security Unit of the Arkansas Correction Department took control of keys and doors of a recreational area of the unit, holding three corrections officers in the area with the inmates.
“The Maximum Security Unit will now begin the process of returning to normal operation,” said Graves.
UPDATE (Aug 9, 6:46 a.m.) The AP, after issuing a records request, discovered that the inmates also had a Taser. It is not clear how they got a Taser, Solomon Graves, ADC spokesperson, told the AP because he did not believe the officers held Tasers.
This is the second episode of an inmate takeover in Tucker Max
related to the recreation area, where inmates are typically held in individually locked cages. We reported last week that we’d learned of an assault on two officers and the firing of warning shots by guards in an incident in a the recreation area on July 22 where inmates are held individually in locked cages.
ADC told reporters that today’s six inmate breakout occurred in a separate recreational area than the July 22 incident.
A statement from the prison to Marci Manley of KARK said the inmates took control of keys from officers about 3:30 p.m. Prison response teams and State Police were called to the scene.
Prison officials said that the inmates did not have the ability to escape the unit, but they were concerned about the safety of the officers. Video below shows the interior of much of the unit.
UPDATE (7:43 p.m.) According to Austin Kellerman from KARK, ADC said the six inmates “overpower[ed]” to take control of a section of Tucker Max.
Also from Kellerman, ADC said they will begin investigating the incident tomorrow and the six inmates involved were transported to another prison.
UPDATE (7:51 p.m.) The following reflects a timeline of updates as they occurred.
UPDATE (5:10 p.m.) Bill Sadler, from the Arkansas State Police, told the Arkansas Times that “units are outside.”
“We are following ADC’s lead,” Saddler added. “We are staying outside until they are ready for ASP assistance.”
UPDATE (6:10 p.m.) “As of 6:10 p.m. the Department is in contact with the involved inmates. Those conversations are proceeding in a positive direction,” said Solomon Graves, ADC spokesperson.
UPDATE (6:29 p.m.) Another statement from Graves, ADC spokesperson.
“As of 6:15 p.m., two (2) of the correctional officers have been released with no major injuries. One (1) inmate, who was not involved in the initial disturbance but did sustain injuries, is being transported to an area hospital in stable condition.”
UPDATE (6:38 p.m.) As of 6:30 p.m. all staff have been released, Graves said, meaning the last of the three correctional officers has been let go.
Victoria Price, from KARK, reports that Tucker Max Unit, as of this morning, had 529 inmates incarcerated.
UPDATE (6:48 p.m.) “As of 6:45 p.m., the disturbance has been resolved. The Maximum Security Unit will now begin the process of returning to normal operation,” said Graves.
UPDATE (7:01 p.m.) The warden of the Tucker Max Unit is Danny Burl. According to his LinkedIn page, Burl became warden of Tucker Max in April 2015 after spending five years as warden at the East Arkansas Regional Unit.