Nine correction officers were injured and one incarcerated man was briefly hospitalized following a chaotic brawl involving a dozen gang-affiliated individuals at a high-security prison in Uncasville, Connecticut last week.
The altercation, notable for the unusual number of combatants, took place on July 27 at around 9:30 p.m. in a gang unit inside the Corrigan Correctional Center. According to a short statement from a Department of Correction spokesperson, the incident is still under investigation.
“Responding staff members found approximately 12 incarcerated individuals involved in a physical altercation. All of the combatants were separated by staff and secured,” the spokesman said in an email. “Shortly after the incident was broken up, one incarcerated individual began exhibiting seizure-like symptoms and was taken to a local area hospital via ambulance – where he was treated and returned to the facility the same day.”
Surveillance footage of the incident obtained by CTNewsJunkie shows several staff members, dressed in dark blue uniforms, standing at an officer’s station situated at the center of a cellblock dayroom.
They abruptly sprinted out of view in response to an unseen event before a throng of staff and inmates clad in light-colored sweats spilled back onto the screen in a frenetic struggle. While guards tried to restrain combatants, other incarcerated men could be seen emerging from off-screen, sliding over tables and hurling themselves into the fray. It took the group of officers roughly a minute to pin the men to the dayroom floor.
In a statement, Mike Vargo, president of AFSCME Local 1565, said the incident involved at least 14 offenders rather than the 12 cited by the Correction Department.
“Nine officers were injured trying to defuse the situation and restore order,” Vargo said. “This incident needs to serve as a call to action for the Department to curtail inmates’ out-of-cell time and revise administrative segregation policies until full staffing of DOC occurs. These policies coupled with staff shortages are a serious threat to the safety and security of staff, offenders, and our communities.”
The incident comes as preliminary statistics suggest that state correction workers are on pace to experience an increase in assaults by inmates for the third consecutive year.