MADISON - 134 inmates at Madison Correctional Institution were transferred to Florida State Prison Tuesday after they refused to report to work squad duty.
The mass refusal took place around lunchtime at the prison in Madison County. The inmates refused orders by correctional officers to proceed to their work squad assignments and to disperse. The inmates sat or milled around a courtyard near an inmate dormitory. Several inmates among the 134 expressed concerns regarding the quality of food, use of tobacco and discipline. They also urged other inmates to join the refusal.
All inmates transferred to FSP will be charged with participating in and/or inciting a disturbance, which is a violation of Department of Corrections disciplinary rules.
DOC dispatched 100 officers trained in special tactics from nearby prisons to Madison CI to assist the staff in controlling the situation. Officers from Wakulla, Hamilton, Jefferson, Taylor and Mayo correctional institutions were called on to assist. Officers were armed with shotguns, chemical agents and batons.
By 4:15 pm, all 134 inmates were handcuffed without incident and placed on transfer buses. No altercations or injuries were reported.
The inmates will be checked by medical staff after arrival at FSP and assigned to other prisons pending individual evaluations. DOC will conduct an investigation into Tuesday's incident to reduce the possibility of future incidents.
Senior DOC staff on the scene included Deputy Director of Institutions Stan Czerniak, Security Bureau Chief James Upchurch, Regional Institutional Director Greg Drake and Acting Warden Lynn Hill (Warden Joseph Thompson is on annual leave.)
For a profile of Madison CI, FSP and other facilities, visit our website at www.dc.state.fl.us.