Norton Correctional Facility, Norton, Kansas
September 5, 2017

More than 400 prisoners participate in a “huge riot” destroying prison property, overturning an emergency medical response vehicle, and fighting guards with homemade weapons. Officials later estimate the damage to the prison at $80,000.

Emergency vehicles gather outside the Norton Correctional Facility during the uprising (Source: KWCH 12)

According to the Kansas City Star:

Inmates smashed windows throughout the Norton Correctional Facility. They took over staff offices and destroyed computers. They broke into the prison’s clinic and stole syringes. And some were wielding homemade weapons when correctional officers from three other prisons arrived at Norton to help restore order, according to multiple correctional officers.

Prisoners set multiple fires throughout the prison in an uprising that, according to the Star, involved “400 or more inmates in the prison in northwestern Kansas that houses roughly 850.” According to the Washington Times, prisoners also “threw rocks, tried to run over a captain with a cart and were told they faced lethal force if they didn’t comply with commands.”

Another article, also by the Kansas City Star, states:

The log confirms correctional officers’ accounts about the state of disarray inside the Kansas prison: Inmates wrapped “large pieces of glass” in towels to use as weapons, they threw rocks at correctional officers, and they tried to devise a plan to charge the guards on duty.

“(Inmates) are trying to run over Capt. Crowder,” the log states. Another entry states that inmates had tipped over a medical response vehicle.

This uprising follows just a few months after another significant disruption at the El Dorado Correctional Facility in Kansas. This emerging pattern of instability within the Kansas prison system has lawmakers there scrambling to figure out how to reverse the trend. The debates have focused specifically on the new prison they are planning to build in Lansing, Kansas, in Leavenworth County just outside of Kansas City. Leavenworth County currently has seven prisons, one county jail and one youth detention facility in a county with a population of 79,000 people.

Citations:

Inside Kansas prison riot where inmates ‘tried to burn the place down’“, The Kansas City Star, September 6, 2017.

‘Use lethal force’ — log book of Norton riot details clash as inmates attempted escape“, The Kansas City Star, September 7, 2017.

Documents show details of Norton prison disturbance not shared by KDOC“, KWCH.com, September 7, 2017.

KOSE Union (@KOSE_Union), September 6, 2017. “Huge riot broken out at Norton Correctional Facility. Buildings are burning and some inmates have gotten weapons.” [Tweet].

Background:

Rising in the Smoke: Prison Rebellions Across the US“, It’s Going Down, October 14, 2017.

Kansas prisons chief: Outside protests fuel inmate unrest“, The Washington Times, September 9, 2017.

Plan to double-bunk at new Kansas prison worries lawmakers“, WIBW.com, September 30, 2017.

Uprising at the El Dorado Correctional Facility in Kansas“, It’s Going Down, June 30, 2017.