57 inmates at Butler County Jail refuse to get in cells

Butler County Jail (Courtesy Butler County)

El DORADO, Kan. (KSNW) – Update. “We have the situation under control” says Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet, as of 3:55 p.m.

Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet says as many as 57 inmates first refused to get into their cells earlier today, causing some tense moments at the jail.

“They did tip over a lot of tables, set off some fire extinguishers, tear up some security cameras,” says Herzet. “Just to retaliate. They were unhappy with the meal they were served today at lunch.”

Herzet says the damage to the jail is minor, and includes damage to TVs and sprinkler heads in what he calls POD C.

“We used one of our hostage negotiators to let them know we were going in,” says Herzet. “We had a plan to go in and use gas if need be and I don’t think they wanted to meet that.”

Herzet says all of the inmates got back into their cells around 4:30. Some of the inmates will be housed in the Kansas Department of Corrections facility about two miles away, at the El Dorado Correctional Facility until all the cells can be searched.

Nobody was hurt, and Herzet says they called in several agencies to help set up a perimeter around the jail, just in case.

“We’ve not had any problems with the meal service in the past. They are served three meals a day,” says Herzet.

The following was posted earlier today:

“They won’t lock down,” said  Herzet this afternoon. “There are a total of 50 inmates in that particular POD. But, right now 15 have gotten back into their cells. The other 35 are just refusing to get back in.”

Herzet is not saying the situation is violent with inmates, but he is calling in a lot of resources to help solve the problem. Herzet says he’s calling in El Dorado Police, nearby Augusta Police, the county SWAT team and a “special prison team” from the nearby El Dorado Corrections Facility, a maximum security prison.

“KDOC teams (Kansas Department of Corrections) have some expertise in lockdowns and they have suits they use for this type of situation,” says Herzet.

Herzet says it started around 12:30 in the afternoon, just after lunch.

“There were some complaints about the food, we know that much,” says Herzet. “We have to separate them and get them back into their cells, and they just won’t do that. Nobody is hurt at this time. No Butler County detention folks are hurt. No inmates are hurt. But, we want to get this taken care of soon.”

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