Prison authorities expert witness Richard Lichten gives an inside view on the causes of jail and prison riots:
The jails and prisons must have easy to follow policy and procedures in place for rioting. One of the best ways to stop the fighting is with a very swift, sure, well supervised, well equipped, overpowering response by the emergency response teams. And these teams must have on-going, realistic, verifiable training.
In situations wherein the inmates are not fighting, but rather barricading themselves against the staff in an open revolt, time is not on staff’s side. It has been my experience that negotiating with barricading inmates ought not to last more than two minutes before taking action. While the staff negotiates with the inmates, inmate leadership is emerging, weapons are being fashioned, courage is being amped up, the inmates’ terrain is being fortified, and plans are being made. All of this makes it much more dangerous when the staff finally goes in tactically.