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Uprising At Kansas Prison Leaves Windows Broken, Building Burned

Courtesy Kansas Department of Corrections
A violent incident Sunday at El Dorado Correctional Facility, about 30 miles from Wichita, left the facility damaged.

Several inmates at El Dorado Correctional Facility in Kansas initiated an uprising Sunday that lasted throughout the early afternoon that resulted in extensive damage to the prison complex.

The incident at the facility, located about 30 miles northeast of Wichita outside the town of El Dorado, began at about 11:37 a.m. after a prisoner did not comply with an employee's orders in the exercise yard and was subsequently restrained and removed. After about four and half hours, inmates began to surrender to law enforcement, who had set up a perimiter around the prison. About 100 prisoners participated in the disturbance.

Inmates refused to leave the yard and set fires. Sarah LaFrenz, president of the Kansas Organization of State Employees, said the inmates broke windows, set a building on fire and briefly took control of the facility's radio system. She said even though the situation was bad, there were no injuries.

All personnel, including employees and inmates, were accounted for later in the evening.

An uprising at El Dorado last summer and other incidents at Kansas prisons brought discussions of understaffing and employee's pay to the forefront during the 2018 session of the Kansas Legislature. State corrections officers eventually recieved raises, but according to state data, there are almost 100 more full-time-equivilant positions at the facility than there are employees.

The most recent incident involved more prisoners and, according to LaFrenz, caused more property damage than last year's incident.

Nicolas Telep is KCUR's morning news intern. You can follow him on Twitter @NDTelep.

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