A Minnesota prison was placed under emergency lockdown on Sunday after approximately 100 inmates refused to return to their cells, authorities reported.
While the exact reason for the protest remains unconfirmed, it’s speculated to be related to the living conditions inside the prison or the health measures implemented due to the pandemic.
The Minnesota – Stillwater Correctional Center, located in Washington County, houses around 1,200 inmates, most of whom are serving sentences for serious offenses.
Protest at Minnesota – Stillwater Correctional Center
Out of this number, about 100 participated in the group protest that began around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, as detailed in a statement released by the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC).
Nick Kimball, a spokesperson for the DOC, told The Associated Press that the reason behind the inmates’ refusal “remains unclear,” but an investigation is underway.
Local media outlet KSTP3 suggests that some inmates voiced their discontent over Covid-19 restrictions, such as the suspension of family visits and limitations on recreational activities.
The DOC informed FOX 9 Minneapolis that prison staff were evacuated from common areas and that there was no physical contact between the inmates and the officers.
A Special Operations Response Team (SORT) was deployed to handle the situation and restore order in the prison.
Two prison officials were in a secure control area on Sunday afternoon and have been in constant communication with authorities. As of now, no injuries or property damages have been reported.
Authorities consider the situation to be stable. The DOC has announced that disciplinary actions will be taken against the involved inmates, and they might be transferred to other correctional facilities.
With information from FOX 9