Two state prisons were locked down following “safety concerns” and “threats to staff,” the Department of Corrections said Thursday.
The concerns came from staff at High Desert State Prison, about 35 miles northwest of Las Vegas, and at Ely State Prison in White Pine County, department of corrections spokesman Scott Kelley said in an emailed statement.
The lockdowns were set to continue until “the threats to staff have been eliminated,” Kelley said; he did not elaborate on what the threats were.
Administrators at both prisons began working to “reduce and eliminate the threats” last week, but it was unclear when exactly the lockdowns began. Kelley said the department is working with Gov. Steve Sisolak’s office to address the safety issues.
A spokesman from Sisolak’s office did not respond to request for comment Thursday.
Kelley said administrators at the prisons have been “locking down yards and problem areas, gathering intelligence” and “conducting town halls with inmates about the threats.”
The department has also moved some inmates to other facilities, he said.
“Additional staff” at the prisons are being trained on Field Force Operations and Mass Disturbance Response Techniques, the statement said.
“This is challenging work, but our staff is going about it professionally and we’re starting to see results,” Kelley said in the statement. “The steps are diffusing threats and addressing staff’s safety concerns, and now we’re allowing some inmates to leave their cells in order to resume their work with Silver State Industries.”