Most inmates moved from badly damaged Kentucky prison

BURGIN, Ky. &mash; Extensive damage from multiple fires set Friday during rioting at Northpoint Training Center is forcing the transfer of 700 of the prison's 1,200 inmates to other facilities.

Corrections officials said Saturday afternoon that they expected to complete the transfers by the end of the day.

Prison spokeswoman Mendalyn Cochran said the inmates have been compliant since rioting was quelled Friday night at the medium-security prison about 5 miles north of Danville in Boyle County.

Officials declined to discuss the reason behind the incident, saying only that they are investigating it and confirming the prison has been under lockdown since Tuesday, when 10 to 15 Hispanic inmates assaulted a black inmate and white inmate. According to the prison's Web site, 57 percent of its 1,200 inmates are white, 40 percent are black and 3 percent are other races.

During the riot, the inmates set fire to a number of buildings. Cochran said six buildings — the kitchen, multipurpose area, sanitation, visitation area, canteen and medical services — were total losses. The rioting stopped after a Kentucky State Police special response team fired tear gas.

Eight staff members and eight inmates sustained minor injuries during the riot. Four inmates remained hospitalized Saturday afternoon, Cochran said.

Five of the six dormitories at the state-run facility are uninhabitable. The remaining dorm can house 196 of the 500 remaining inmates. Cochran said there are 60 single-cell units in the maximum-security area of the prison, and about 40 inmates are being kept in the minimum-security area outside. The remainder are being housed temporarily in the chapel and gymnasium, she said.

Food is being brought in, she said.

County jails were helping move the 700 prisoners to other state-run and private prisons in Kentucky. Because of a lack of space, some will be double-bunked.

Jennifer Brislin, a spokeswoman for the state Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, said the state is not releasing the locations to which inmates will be transferred, "as details of inmate movement could pose security risks." By Tuesday morning, information about the locations of individual inmates will be available on the Corrections Department Web site.

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