Prisoners riot at New Castle Correctional Facility

Fires burning at New Castle Correctional Facility

Rick Ramirez/

Henry County - Indiana State Police report that they have the situation under control at the New Castle Correctional Facility, where a riot broke out Tuesday afternoon.

State Police responded to the prison around 2 p.m., where inmates set fires outside the cell blocks.

Mayor Tom Nipp described the situation as, "A full-scale riot."  Nipp says police have set up a perimeter around the prison, assuring residents that no one has escaped.

Video taken by Chopper 13 shows inmates standing near small flames that appear to be mattresses set on fire.

The Indiana Department of Corrections confirms the disturbance involved prisoners from Indiana and prisoners from Arizona.  Tear gas was used by correctional officers and State Police to gain control.  Police moved hundreds of prisoners outside to an area along the outer fence line while cell blocks were searched for others involved in the riots.

At least two prison personnel have been injured. The severity of their injuries is unclear.

The prisoner uprising was brought under control after three hours.

Several family members of prisoners called the WTHR newsroom saying the inmates from Arizona are upset about their transfer to Indiana and being so far from home.

"Prison standards in Indiana are different from what the Arizona prisoners are use to," Donahue said.  They were upset over not being allowed to smoke in our prison.  But we did look at that before moving them here.  We let them have access to nicotine patches," Donahue explained.

Earlier in the year, the State of Indiana agreed to house the inmates from Arizona, where overcrowding is an issue. Before that, the New Castle Facility was at half capacity. The prisoner transfer created several jobs for the state.

The prison can hold nearly 2,200 inmates.  At present, it houses about 1,000 from Indiana and 630 from Arizona.

Stay tuned to Channel 13 and for the latest information.