Protest at Cibola County Correctional Center

Posted at: 03/27/2013 10:13 PM
By: Danielle Todesco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It has been a tense situation all day Wednesday at a private prison near Grants.

Hundreds of inmates refused to return to their cells at the Cibola County Correctional Center.  Their protest continued into the cold evening.  About 250 inmates stood in the recreation yard, refusing to go inside.

Corrections Officers said it started around 10:30 Wednesday morning.  Public Information Officer Stephen Brown said they still were not able to found out why the inmates were protesting.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 spoke with a couple whose son works as a guard inside the center.  They had not been able to communicate with him, but heard the inmates were upset about their treatment in the prison.

The couple, Leroy and Carolyn Perea, were concerned for their son's safety.  They were hoping the protest would stay peaceful.

"I'm getting too nervous seeing all of this," Carolyn Perea said.  "I think we better go home and wait for him to come home."

Their son was supposed to be off his shift at 3:00 Wednesday afternoon, but was still inside with the other guards late Wednesday night.  Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies surrounded the prison in case things escalated.