Incidents that led to a recent lockdown at the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth may have been sparked by a dispute over a television, according to the warden of the federal prison.
Warden Claude Maye commented on the lockdown, which lasted several days in late September and early October, during Thursday’s meeting of the USP’s Community Relations Board.
The meeting also included a presentation on a system used to help limit the prison’s impact on the environment.
Maye said the lockdown went into effect following fights in a housing unit and an incident at the recreation yard.
He said an investigation revealed it had started with a dispute over an inmate changing the channel on a television.
“It kind of escalated,” he said.
The lockdown went into effect Sept. 29. It officially ended Oct. 4, USP officials reported at the time.
Maye said one result of the lockdown was the removal of a lot of what he described as nuisance contraband that had been in the possession of inmates. He said excess property was removed and strict property compliance regulations are in place.
Maye’s comments followed a presentation from J.D. Horst, safety manager at the prison. Horst discussed the facility’s environmental management system.
Horst said there’s been a big push during the 3.5 years he’s been at the USP to avoid costly Environmental Protection Agency fines and limit the prison’s impact on the environment.
“It really involves all departments,” he said.
He said the EMS, a system used to accomplish these goals, utilizes four main components in which officials develop a plan, carry out the plan, check the results and act on things that didn’t work and continue those that worked.
He said anybody who identifies a problem related to the prison’s environmental impact can bring it to the EMS committee or safety department.
Horst reviewed several changes that have taken place at the prison including increased recycling. He said the USP went from generating $1,500 in 2010-2011 through its recycling efforts to about $10,000 in 2011-2012. He said $10,000 is equal to how much the prison spends on garbage bags each year.