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Inmates: officer tactics escalated peaceful protest at Kinross

Image of a prison fence
Shayan Sanyal/flickr

Last month on Sept. 10, there was an incident at the Kinross Correctional Facility. It started with a peaceful demonstration by prisoners and ended with a fire, smashed windows, and other vandalism. 250 inmates were moved to higher security prisons.

The spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections, Chris Gautz, said call it an incident, or call it vandalism. But don’t call it a riot.

But the union for corrections officers saw it differently. Tom Tylutki from the Michigan Corrections Organizationjoined Statesideand felt confident calling the incident a riot.

So, we’ve heard from the state. We’ve heard from the correctional officers. Today, the Detroit Free Press published a piece that allows us to hear from the prisoners.

Paul Egan wrote that story, and joined Stateside to discuss what the prisoners said about what happened.

So if the demonstration was peaceful, what sparked the outburst that proceeded it?

According to Egan, one thing the prisoners mentioned were the tactics of the correctional officers. “The department wanted to round up these ringleaders," Egan said. "Was there a way they could have done it that was less confrontational that perhaps would have resulted in less damage?”

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