Interesting follow-up coverage from what appears to be the Oklahoman’s on-line edition, newsok.com. In addition to exploring the attempts of local police to investigate the riot, it goes into the distribution of California prisoners in for-profit facilities across the country.
The cause of the Oct. 11 riot at a private prison in Sayre has yet to be released due to ongoing investigation by local authorities.
SAYRE — Nearly a month after a riot that injured inmates at a private prison in western Oklahoma, prison officials say they do not have a cause that they can release.
They will say that 16 of the inmates who were hospitalized after the riot have since been released, but they won’t say what types of injuries they suffered in the Oct. 11 melee.
“While we are not aware of any criminal charges that have been filed, we do know that the Sayre Police Department‘s investigation is ongoing,” Machak said.
“To that end, we do not want to release details that might undermine those ongoing efforts.”
Sayre Police Chief Ronnie Harrold said he has yet to receive anything from the prison regarding the riot. He said he thinks something is close to happening, but that the prison corporation has “been giving us the runaround.”
“It’s coming close to the point where we would expect for them to turn it over to us,” Harrold said. “At some point, if they want charges filed, they’ll have to turn it over to us.”
Prison spokeswoman Michelle Deherrera said the riot erupted just before noon, and the help of local law enforcement agencies was required to subdue the prisoners.
In addition to the 16 inmates who required hospitalization, another 30 were treated at a medical facility at the prison, she said.
Deherrera said no prison staff members or assisting law enforcement officers were injured.
The more than 2,000 prisoners held at the private prison are from California. Machak said inmates from Colorado, Idaho, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Vermont have been housed at the prison over the past 12 years.
According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website, the state has more than 9,588 inmates serving time in out-of-state prisons.
California began transferring prisoners to out-of-state facilities in 2007 to alleviate overcrowding and restore rehabilitation programs in its state-run lockups, according to the California department’s website.
The move to transfer the inmates was prompted by an executive order issued in October 2006 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and was expected to be a temporary measure to allow prison reform in California.