Officers use pepper spray, tear gas to ‘restore order’ at Idaho maximum security prison

Three Idaho corrections officers were injured when they responded with pepper spray and tear gas to a suspected “planned group disruption” by prisoners at the maximum security prison south of Boise.

The Idaho Department of Correction deployed its tactical emergency response team Friday morning at about 11 a.m. after 25 prisoners in two housing units of administrative segregation, or solitary confinement, covered their cell windows. No prisoners were injured in the incident, IDOC spokesperson Sanda Kuzeta-Cerimagic told the Idaho Statesman by email Monday.

Officers used pepper spray on prisoners who refused to comply with orders, she said. Tear gas munitions also were used “to gain compliance in limited instances,” Kuzeta-Cerimagic said.

The three corrections officers were assaulted while extracting prisoners from their cells to “restore order,” she said. They required medical attention.

Prison officials believe the incident was gang related, Kuzeta-Cerimagic said. The group of prisoners in solitary confinement planned it “to force IDOC to segregate housing based on racial gang affiliation,” she said.

Idaho State Police is investigating, Kuzeta-Cerimagic said. Prisoners who participated in the incident will receive a disciplinary writeup, and those found responsible for assaulting corrections officers could face criminal charges, she said.