FILE - This March 23, 2011, photo shows the El Dorado Correctional Facility near El Dorado, Kan. Guards at the facility say two previously unreported mass disturbances during which inmates took control for hours of parts of facility preceded a June 2017 prison uprising. Low staffing, overcrowding and general tensions have created dangerous conditions, and fears of working there have led to a mass exodus of experienced staff. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

Union: 4th incident in 3 months at El Dorado, Kansas prison

July 29, 2017 - 1:38 am

EL DORADO, Kan. (AP) — There has been another inmate disturbance at a troubled Kansas prison, a senior union official said, in at least the fourth incident at the facility over the last three months.

Robert Choromanski, executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees, told The Associated Press late Friday that a Special Security Team was called to the prison earlier in the evening after 30 inmates refused to stand down. He said the information came from a prison employee who was monitoring emergency communications. No other details were immediately available.

Todd Fertig, Kansas Department of Corrections spokesman, could not immediately be reached for comment. He told the Kansas City Star that two inmates were wounded at El Dorado earlier Friday, one with "several puncture wounds." He says no employees were injured.

He did not respond to a question from the Star about the reported evening disturbance.

The El Dorado Correctional Facility, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Wichita, has become a dangerous place to work since state officials began transferring some of the most dangerous criminals to the facility earlier this year, guards told AP earlier this week. They said the facility was tense because of overcrowding of inmates, a shortage of staff including guards, and shifts as long as 16 hours a day.

There have been at least three previous disturbances at the prison in recent months. They were the week of May 8, on June 24, and on June 29. In each case inmates refused to obey orders and in two cases they took over the prison yard for hours. The corrections department did not disclose the first two incidents, which were confirmed to the AP by prison employees. The third disturbance on June 29 became public only after inmates obtained a working cellphone during the incident and called relatives.

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