The warden is speaking out after riot charges at the Monroe County Correctional Facility.
12 inmates at the jail in Hamilton Township are facing charges for being involved in a fight.
But we’re told an incident like this is a rare occurrence.
Warden Garry Haidle of the Monroe County Correctional Facility says, "On the TV shows were they’re taking over a cell block and they’re going to make a statement, it wasn’t anything like that. It was two inmates had an altercation and the other ones joined in."
Haidle is talking about the fight that broke out on August 13th involving 12 inmates. It happened in a general population area that houses 64 prisoners. Monroe County Detectives say inmate Saquan Scott started a dispute with inmate Aaron Baez while he was handing out laundry bags.
Detective Mario Orlando of the Monroe County District Attorney's Office says, "It was a disrespect thing. Words were exchanged so in a fashion to keep the peace, the on duty officer segregated both of them."
Later when everyone was able to exit their cell for meal time, Scott again started up the argument with Baez.
Orlando says, "The Officer did his job and broke it up but they came out to have their meal and the one inmate just had enough and started a fight."
That’s when we’re told 10 inmates joined in. Some used meal trays and chairs to strike others involved. No one was seriously injured. We’re told the fight lasted less than a minute before it was broken up.
The warden says altercations between inmates are down. While they do occur, this is the first incident of this volume since Haidle became the warden about four years ago.
Haidle says, "It was an incident that happens in every day life of corrections. It doesn’t happen that often here which I feel because I have things in place for everybody’s safety and security and we prevent it."
Orlando confirms, "The one thing I can definitely say about that correctional facility is the officers that they employ, they know what they’re doing and they abide by their policy and procedure."
Incidences like this incur criminal charges and the warden says that makes all the difference.
Haidle says, "So instead of just getting in-house jail disciplinary charges, if you’re involved in an altercation and it’s investigated, you can be held criminally for the charges and I think once they knew that was happening, I think it quelled more of the incidences that we have."
Each inmate faces 12 charges including some which are felonies.
Orlando says, "Every participant is dealing with the same charges, the conspiracy of the charges and they’re also being named as a principal and an accomplice."
Nine of the 12 were arraigned on the riot charges yesterday and the other three are awaiting extradition back to Monroe County.