The Department of Corrections says a fight involving 11 prisoners at Hawkes Bay Prison was brought quickly under control by the quick actions of staff.
Hawkes Bay Prison Manager George Massingham says the fight was in a high medium unit at the Prison and lasted just over a minute.
“No physical force by staff was necessary to break up the fight. Staff deescalated the situation quickly by using their training to verbally talk down the prisoners.
“Staff were able to quickly and professionally contain the situation. No staff were injured and officers were able to prevent any serious injury to prisoners,” says Mr Massingham.
“One prisoner did receive a cut lip requiring stitches. Other prisoners received scrapes and bruises.”
Mr Massingham says the fight started shortly after prisoners were unlocked for the day and appears to have been an incident between the Mongrel Mob and Black Power.
It is unknown at this point what triggered the fight.
“The unit has now been locked down so prisoners can be contained while they calm down and to allow time to ascertain the cause of the fight.
“Prisoners from rival gangs are routinely accommodated together and incidents between them are rare. However, every now and then something can happen which causes tensions to boil over.
“We will now be interviewing those prisoners involved in the fight to find out exactly what happened. Fighting by prisoners is not tolerated and we will be looking at internal charges for those involved. The matter has been passed to the Police for investigation.”
Note to reporter
All other areas of the unit were not affected and continued to operate as normal.
The unit was fully staffed at the time of the fight and Police presence was not required
Like all high-medium units, this unit moved to an 8-5 unlock regime earlier this year and there is nothing to suggest this had anything to do with the fight.
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