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Inmate disturbance in St. Johnsbury - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Inmate disturbance in St. Johnsbury

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ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. -

Trouble at the Northeast Regional Correctional Facility. According to corrections officials, inmates in a general population unit in Saint Johnsbury created a two hour long disturbance Friday night.

The nine inmates involved allegedly made weapons, destroyed furniture, and demanded they get telephone access and cigarettes.

"Nine participants had varying degrees of involvement that is yet to be determined. We'll learn more through what we anticipate a Vermont State Police criminal investigation. We'll also be conducting our own internal critical incident reviews as well," said Michael Touchetti, Northeast Regional Correctional Facility Director.

Two officers were in the unit when the disturbance began around 7:30 p.m. Those officers left for safety, and negotiators went in to try to settle the commotion. At around 9:30 p.m., the Corrections Department's tactical team went in the unit and regained order.

"We have moved most of those inmates- the participants- throughout the state at varying different correctional facilities until the investigation is completed," Touchetti said.

Two ambulances were staged at the prison but no officers or inmates were injured.

"I haven't really heard about it being a problem in the past, so just because it happens once doesn't mean it's going to happen again," said Kiernan Brisson, from Milton.

Residents who live near the facility say they did not panic after learning about the incident.

"I'm more worried about the drug dealers around town," said Vicki Favreau, from Saint Johnsbury.

Officials say fire suppression systems were broken during the ordeal but have been repaired. The corrections department said the public was not at risk and staffing levels will be looked at during this incident review.

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