NORTON — Ninety inmates from Norton Correctional Facility are being transferred to other facilities today after a riot broke out Tuesday night.
Moving inmates after such an incident is a common procedure, Samir Arif, a spokesman for the Kansas Department of Corrections in Topeka said this morning.
Most of the 90 who are being moved will be going to Lansing, but other facilities will receive the inmates, he said.
Authorities from Kansas Department of Corrections are in Norton today to further assess damage and investigate the incident.
The disturbance started about 9:30 p.m. when inmates set mattresses on fire, Arif said.
At least a dozen inmates were involved, but exactly how many was not clear this morning. Some inmates did gain access to a tool closet, Arif said.
The disturbance was brought under control shortly after midnight, Arif said.
“There were no injuries among inmates. There were two injuries among staff, but neither one of those required medical attention,” Arif said.
“There was some facility damage from fire, but I don’t know the extent of that. The primary property damage ended up being mostly broken windows,” he said.
“We’re probably a little too early to figure out culpability, who was responsible for what. We’re just not there yet,” Arif said this morning.
The Norton Police Department, Norton County Sheriff’s Department, Norton Fire Department and Kansas Highway Patrol responded.
As of Tuesday, the population at the Norton facility was 856, Arif said, and will be 766 after inmates are moved.
Other facilities in Kansas have experienced inmate unrest in recent weeks, prompting Gov. Sam Brownback to announce a pay raise for prison workers last month to help alleviate high turnover rates that some have said exacerbated safety issues.
Arif said the Norton prison has not experienced those kinds of staffing issues.
The total staff at Norton is 196, with 17 vacancies.
“Norton was definitely not like the vacancy issue we’ve had across the system. Norton was definitely exempt from those problems,” Arif said.