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Photos: Mass. jail standoff causes $200K in damages

Inmates who were in single and double cells were moved to a communal setting and about 20 “ringleaders” decided to “stir the pot” in protest


Friday’s incident caused around $200,000 in damages and destroyed several areas of the Bristol County jail.

Bristol County Sheriff’s Office

By Tristan Smith

DARTMOUTH, Mass. — Tossed mattresses, broken electronics, burnt patch spots, smashed windows and a horde of trash highlight the photos from Friday’s inmate standoff at a jail in Dartmouth Friday. Investigators now plan to charge about two dozen inmates they say led the incident that turned the correctional institution into squalor.

On Friday, officers in Dartmouth’s Bristol County House of Corrections moved inmates to different housing units within the jail in an effort to make the facility more suicide-resistant. However, some inmates protested and several law enforcement agencies were required to end an hours-long confrontation with about 80 inmates, according to Bristol County Sheriff Paul Heroux.

Inmates who were housed in single and double cells were moved to a communal setting on Friday and about 20 “ringleaders” within a housing unit of 80 decided to “stir the pot” in protest of the move, according to Heroux, who was sworn-in in January.

Sheriff’s departments from Hampden, Suffolk, Plymouth, Barnstable and Norfolk counties responded to the situation as well as the state’s Department of Correction in order to resolve the situation.

No injuries were reported to inmates or correctional staff, according to Heroux.

Friday’s incident caused around $200,000 in damages and destroyed several areas of the Bristol County jail.

Authorities went back to the correctional facility Monday to catalog damage and review video footage from the incident, according to the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators plan to charge 20 inmates who have been identified as the “lead agitators” in the incident.

The inmates said to have led the protest were moved to different facilities throughout the state. Officials said the protest’s ringleaders will most likely face a host of destruction of property charges.

The facility has 1,100 beds and is for men convicted of crimes with a sentence of two and a half years or less; higher security female inmates or pre-trial detainees, and higher security male pre-trial detainees. The facility has several housing units with “varying levels of security,” according to the website.

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