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Local News

Unruly inmates lead disturbance at Sullivan County jail

December 27th, 2011 12:09 pm by Rain Smith

The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office Special Operations Response Team entered the jail in Blountville on Monday night to quell a disturbance from allegedly unruly inmates.

SCSO Public Information officer Leslie Earhart said the disturbance began at approximately 9:30 p.m., consisting of 75 inmates in three adjacent cells. They were reportedly cursing officers, shaking their cell bars and kicking walls.

Earhart says the inmates were upset over new policies at the correctional facility, including a recent ban on parcels shipped to incarcerated individuals. Due to the amount of contraband senders and inmates were trying to smuggle into the jail, according to Earhart, inmates are now allowed to receive only postcards.

The jail staff reportedly attempted to calm the inmates, telling them their concerns would be addressed first thing Tuesday morning. When the riotous actions continued the Specials Operations Response Team was activated.

SORT officers are trained to respond to emergences in the jail, including facility wide disturbances and the extraction of uncooperative individuals from cells. Earhart said that within minutes of the SORT response inmates began to comply with orders.

No one was injured in the incident.

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