11 inmates indicted in July 1 northwestern Arizona prison riot

KINGMAN, Ariz. — Grand jury indictments bring charges against 11 inmates involved in a July 1 disturbance at the state prison in northwest Arizona.

The Mohave County attorney’s office said the convicts held at the minimum-security Cerbat Unit of the prison in Golden Valley face a mix of charges including criminal damage, destruction of a public jail and aggravated assault on corrections officers.

The Arizona Department of Corrections said five officers suffered minor injuries when assaulted by inmates after they tried to intervene in a dispute among the inmates. Another officer suffered a minor injury while hiding in a ceiling area during the melee, according to the state agency.

Two officers were treated on scene and four were transported to Kingman Regional Medical Center.

The indicted convicts are among hundreds of inmates who were shipped out to various holding facilities in more than one state after days of rioting left portions of the prison uninhabitable. Prosecutor Rod Albright said those indicted will be returned to Mohave County for arraignment hearings Oct. 19 and 20.

The inmates’ identities were withheld until authorities are certain they have been served their indictment paperwork.

Albright said he intends to bring additional indictments against other inmates involved in July 2 and 4 riots at the prison’s medium-security Hualapai Unit. He also said many more inmates engaged in criminal activity but will not be charged as they cannot be identified because the rampage put surveillance systems and cameras out of order.

The Department of Corrections has laid blame at the feet of the Management and Training Corp., the Utah-based company that operates the prison under contract with the state. The agency intends to reassign the contract to a new operator and continues to evaluate four firms that have expressed interest in managing the prison.

Spokesman Andrew Wilder said the Department of Corrections hopes to select a new operator before the end of the month. He said repair efforts continue at the prison and that it is not yet known how much they will cost or when they will be completed.

Wilder said the Fourth of July weekend riots in Golden Valley also prompted department assessments of the operations of five other privately operated prisons in Arizona. He said reports involving those efforts should be completed and made public in coming weeks.

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