(CAMERON, Mo.) Authorities said no serious injuries but significant damage have been reported following a Saturday riot at Crossroads Correctional Center.
The Missouri Department of Corrections reports that a group of more than 200 inmates refused to return to their cells Saturday evening at the Crossroads Correctional Center.
The DOC spokesperson, Karen Pojmann, said at around 8 p.m. the inmates began to stage a sit-down protest.
KQ2 spoke with 10 individuals Monday. The individuals including former Crossroads employees, current Crossroads employees, and family and friends of employees called and said that protest turned into full blown anarchy.
KQ2 took each person's report of the damage. We compared those stories and then called the DOC to verify the details that showed up in all ten accounts.
DOC's Response to Reports of Damage
Here is what our sources said and the Department's response to those claims.
- The inmates caused at least $100,000 in damages to the facility, according to our sources.
- "There was significant damage but we do not know the extent or cost of the damages right now," Pojmann said.
- The kitchen at Crossroads is completely destroyed and out of commission right now, our sources said.
- "The kitchen is badly damaged but the extent is still being investigated," Pojmann said. "A mobile kitchen is being used for meals."
- Our sources reported inmates had hot-wired forklifts and drove them through common areas leaving a path of destruction.
- "There was evidence of forklift use but we can't say more at this time," Pojmann said.
- The prisoners had wrecked expensive machines used in the inmate work program including a machine used in toilet paper production.
- "There was damage to those machines, and in that area but we are still looking at the costs and how much damage was done," Pojmann said.
- Our sources also said that because of the riot, inmates had been transferred from Crossroads to Western Reception Diagnostic Center in St. Joseph. Pojmann confirmed inmates were transferred due to the incident.
- "We found that 78 people were responsible for the property damage," she said. "Because they needed to be placed in restrictive housing, some had to be transferred."
- The prison is critically understaffed and that led to the riot, according to KQ2's sources. Those individuals explained that inmate recreational time and space shrinks tandem to staff size.
- "I don't think we can say it was a direct cause," Pojmann said. "But what I can tell you is that Crossroads is understaffed by at least 80 people. Less staff leads to more inmate restrictions and offenders were not happy about that."
CRCC staff, Cameron Police, the Clinton County Sheriff's Department and Mo. State Highway Patrol troopers were called to assist. The Correction Emergency Response Team, or CERT, were called into work shortly after 8 p.m., according to family members of three CERT members who spoke to KQ2.
CRCC is a maximum/medium custody prison for men. The department said it took about six hours to resettle the prisoners.
The Cameron Police Department posted a message to it's Facebook page just after 6:00 a.m. Sunday, that read, "Earlier tonight the Crossroads Correctional Center called our Department for assistance with an incident at their Institution. Several Law Enforcement Agencies along with members of our Department provided extra perimeter security. The incident is over and no injuries were reported."
Saturday night, MSHP Troop H confirmed troopers were standing by at a nearby Walmart parking lot to assist CRCC staff. No word on how many police, deputies or staff were called in to help.
The DOC press release reported that "a peaceful and positive solution" was reached between the inmates and staff.
The DOC said it will investigate what lead up to the disturbance, assess property damage,and meet with offenders about concerns. Read the original press release here.