Arizona State Prison Complex–Lewis, Buckeye, Arizona
April 9, 2013

Approximately 40 prisoners refused to leave the dining hall and, as the protest escalated, damaged prison infrastructure.

According to a source who spoke with Survivors of Prison Violence Arizona, the conflict began when all the kitchen staff were fired and replaced with other workers. The event began as a sit down strike and escalated into an uprising:

“What I heard was that there was a nice size riot, sit down and work strike at Morey. At that point, the whole complex was locked down.

“Scab” kitchen workers from Bachman were brought over to Morey, at which time the fracas started up again at the kitchen. The kitchen workers locked themselves in a room, as the Morey inmates thought they were PC guys.

They were informed that they were not PC guys, but kitchen workers from Bachman. Those kitchen workers are safe.

Ironically enough, PC Barchey is now making sack lunches for Morey…”

An anonymous employee at ASPC-Lewis shared the following information on the incident with Arizona Prison Watch:

“The  disturbance at the Morey Unit on 04/09/2013 happened because the kitchen crew was replaced. The kitchen crew was warned on no less than five occasions that if equipment kept being damaged… they would be replaced. The damaging of the ice machine (which only benefits the inmates) was proverbially the last straw. The Morey inmate leaders were informed that the kitchen crew were being replaced by lower security level GP inmates from the Bachman kitchen, and that they were not PC (protective custody) inmates. This happened days before said disturbance.

The disturbance started when inmates refused to exit the chow hall so the next house could eat. Ex-Morey kitchen workers stirred things up by claiming that the replacement kitchen workers (you called them scabs?) were PC inmates. The kitchen workers were locked in a storage room by a CO for their own safety. At this point inmates semi rioted, tearing apart what they could of the chow hall and outer building area. Chemical agents and canines were brought in to quell the situation. Some staff were injured, but it was minor…”

Citations:

Official: ‘Chemical agent’ halts uproar at Buckeye prison“, AZ Central, April 10, 2013

ASPC-Lewis 2013 uprising: STRIKE!!!“, Arizona Prison Watch, April 17, 2013

ASPC-Lewis 2013 uprising: STRIKE!!!“, Survivors of Prison Violence, Arizona, April 11, 2013