Riots broke out in a prison in St Louis for the third time in the space of three months, after inmates spent almost eight hours smashing windows, setting items on fire, and throwing chairs and mattresses out to the streets below.

Corrections officers worked throughout the night to contain inmates and shut down the riots, eventually detaining all 115 inmates involved back into custody.

Was this a prison break?

Inmates started riots for the third time in three months, as a way of protesting against conditions and their treatment throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, however, they weren’t launching an escape attempt.

Following the previous two disturbances that took place in the prison, dozens of inmates had already been transferred away in an attempt to contain any outbreaks of violence occurring again, a tactic that has clearly failed.

It is believed that the prisoners are displeased with the conditions they have had to put up with throughout the pandemic, as well as the delays in court proceedings and restrictions placed on visitors to the prison.

Jacob Long, a spokesman for Mayor Lyda Krewson in St Louis said that the inmates had burnt the front of the building as well as flooding their floors by clogging multiple toilets and drains, causing heavy water damage throughout the prison.

It has been widely reported that the riot was initiated after a guard and an inmate started a scuffle at 2.30 am, which followed by the same being ‘jumped’ by multiple other inmates.

Police had to use tear gas

The riots ended shortly before 10 am after corrections officers used force and tear gas in order to regain control and shut the riot down.

Jimmie Edwards, the city’s director of public safety, issued a statement shortly after the riots were quashed, informing that a single corrections officer was injured at the scene and was taken to hospital for treatment.

It is believed that the officer was released on the same day.

No other officers or inmates were injured in the eight-hour riots, with the prison now fully secure.

Multiple news organizations have reached out to the St. Louis City Justice Center and St. Louis Police Department for a comment regarding the events and the cost of the riots to the city.