- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 25, 2020

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Two people suffered minor injuries during a brief disturbance at a New Hampshire prison over the weekend in which inmates lit small fires and tried to flood their unit.

Inmates at a unit of the state’s New Hampshire State Prison for Men refused to go back to their cells after returning from a meal Saturday, the New Hampshire Department of Corrections said. Most of the nearly 70 prisoners eventually returned to their cells, though a few lit fires and attempted to flood the unit.

A emergency response team quelled the disturbance and the fires were put out. The unit remains under a lock down.

An inmate and an employee suffered minor injuries.

The incident stemmed from inmates not having access to the canteen for the past two weeks, according to the State Employees Association of New Hampshire, the union that represents prison employees. The incident highlighted concerns about crowding and shortage of staffing in the prison system as a whole, the union said.

The Department of Corrections said the prison population is among the lowest levels it has been in years. There were 2,228 inmates as of August 1, which is an 18% decrease from 2014.

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