Racial Brawls Throw Region 8 Prison into Turmoil - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Calico Rock, AR

Racial Brawls Throw Region 8 Prison into Turmoil

MARCH 31, 2006 - Posted at 7:42 a.m. CST


CALICO ROCK, AR - Prison officials have taken action following two brawls among black and white prisoners over the past two weeks at the state's North Central Unit in Calico Rock.

More guards have been sent to the 500-bed medium-security prison in Izard County to restore order.

State prison spokeswoman Dina Tyler says 30 inmates, 16 blacks and 14 whites, have been transferred to the Maximum Security Unit at Tucker since the first disturbance early last week.

She says racially-based gangs were a factor in the fights.

The first fight started on March 21 when a white inmate accused a black inmate of stealing his coffee.  Then eight blacks and four whites were involved in a fight, some making weapons out of padlocks wrapped in socks.

Three inmates were injured.  Officials said that one, 32-year-old Charmorrow Williams, remained at the prison hospital in Pine Bluff and is expected to lose an eye.

The second disturbance occured Monday night.  In that encounter, tension from the earlier brawl exploded into a fight between five white and five black inmates.  The prison spokeswoman said there were no serious injuries.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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