Riot At Wasco State Prison

On Tuesday at about 10 a.m., a riot involving approximately 80 reception center inmates erupted on the Facility A yard at Wasco State Prison-Reception Center.

Responding staff used pepper spray, blast grenades and exact impact munitions to bring the incident under control; however, the less-lethal munitions did not stop the inmates from rioting and they ignored staff orders and continued to fight. Officers fired three warning shots from the Ruger Mini 14 rifle to quell the incident. No inmates were struck by the lethal rounds.

Two inmates were transported to local hospitals as a result of injuries they sustained during their involvement in the riot.

No employees were injured.

Staff recovered numerous inmate-made weapons.

Prison officials are currently assessing the cause of the riot. Reception center inmates were placed on a modified program as a result of the riot. An investigation is currently ongoing.

WSP-RC’s primary mission is to provide short-term housing necessary to process, classify, and evaluate new inmates physically and mentally, and determine their security level, program requirements and appropriate institutional placement. WSP-RC was opened February 1991, houses approximately 5,200 inmates and employs approximately 1,700 people.