Blythe Prison Riot Leaves 8 Officers and 1 Inmate Injured
BLYTHE, Calif. — In a shocking turn of events, a riot involving approximately 200 inmates took place at the Ironwood State Prison in Blythe, Southern California. The incident, which occurred in the prison’s recreational yard, resulted in injuries to eight corrections officers and one incarcerated man. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation confirmed the incident on Thursday.
Violence Erupts During Contraband Investigation
According to prison authorities, the violence erupted around 10 a.m. on Wednesday during a contraband investigation. As officers were escorting an inmate across the yard, the inmate suddenly headbutted a staff member. While the staff member was being subdued, a chaotic scene unfolded as around 200 incarcerated individuals rushed towards the officers, attacking them with both fists and rocks.
Efforts to Regain Control
In order to regain control, prison officers were forced to deploy a rifle warning round. Additionally, they utilized chemical agents and non-lethal impact rounds to subdue the rioters. Despite their best efforts, eight staff members and one inmate sustained injuries during the incident. They were promptly treated at an outside hospital and later returned to the prison. The exact extent of their injuries remains undisclosed.
Ongoing Investigation and Statewide Restrictions
As of now, authorities have identified 30 incarcerated individuals who were directly involved in the riot. An investigation into the incident is currently underway. Meanwhile, movement in yards and dayrooms across all prisons in California has been restricted for 24 hours. This measure has been implemented as part of a routine threat assessment conducted by prison officials.
Ironwood State Prison
Ironwood State Prison, a minimum-medium security facility located in the desert east of Los Angeles, has been operational since 1994. With a capacity to house approximately 2,500 male inmates, it serves as a crucial correctional facility in the region.
Recent Surge in Prison Violence
This incident adds to a series of violent incidents that have plagued California prisons in recent months. The Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown witnessed a sexual assault of a staff member, while homicides have been reported across the state. Many of these incidents have been linked to the Mexican Mafia prison gang and its affiliates, following the fatal stabbing of a member named Michael “Mosca” Torres in July 2023. The situation has prompted authorities to remain vigilant and take necessary measures to ensure the safety of both staff members and inmates.