Inmates, staff injured in 3rd Calif. prison brawl in 3 days

SUSANVILLE, Calif. (AP) — More than a dozen inmates and two staff members were injured in the third brawl to break out inside a California prison during the past three days.

The latest uprising, which prison officials described as a riot, erupted Friday morning at the California Correctional Center in the old Northern California logging and mining town of Susanville.

Authorities said the trouble started at 8:35 a.m. when about 40 inmates broke out of five dorms and began fighting other prisoners.

Inmates in other dorms then set small fires in their cells in an effort to break out and attacked prison staffers who rushed to stop them.

"Non-lethal force was used to quell the violence," the state Department of Corrections said in a statement, adding that "numerous inmate-manufactured weapons were recovered."

Four inmates were hospitalized, including two in critical condition with head injuries. Eleven were treated at the prison's medical facility.

"Two staff members were transported to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries and several others were being medically evaluated within the facility," the corrections department said.

Officials said many of the injured inmates suffered lacerations and puncture wounds.

Similar brawls broke out Wednesday and Thursday at the California Men's Colony State Prison in San Luis Obispo. Four inmates were injured there. No prison staffers were reported hurt.

The Susanville prison houses about 4,000 minimum- and medium-security inmates, many of whom work with the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection battling wildfires.

Authorities said the cause of the brawl is under investigation. In the meantime, movement is being limited inside the dorm where the trouble started.

In San Luis Obispo, officials said about 35 medium-security inmates rushed a group of approximately 15 inmates in a prison yard on Thursday. Guards used non-lethal projectiles to stop the fighting. Two inmates were reported hurt.

On Wednesday, two inmates were hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries following a fight involving about 40 inmates in the same yard.

The San Luis Obispo prison houses about 3,800 minimum- and medium-security inmates.