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Clements Unit Among the Most Violent Prisons

A study by the "Texas Tribune" shows the Clements unit to be the most violent non-psychiatric prison in the state.
AMARILLO -- One of Amarillo's prisons is considered among the most violent in the state.

        The large number of mentally ill inmates at the William P. Clements unit is part of the reason.

        Violent-incident data compiled by the "Texas Tribune" shows the Clements unit is among the top five prison units in the state with the highest number of incidents reported.  The report indicates more than 25 reports of violence per 100 prisoners.

        The Clements unit is the second largest prison in Texas and the high number of mentally ill inmates certainly contributes to the high number of violent incidents reported.

        However, state officials say reports of violence can be vague.  For instance, a major use of force is categorized as anytime an inmate is forced to do something against his or her will.

        A spokesman for the Texas prison system says even a serious assault can include very minor things.  "A serious assault is going to be anything above first-aid.  For instance, if  a person needs a tetanous shot or if they leave the facility to go get an xray then that goes down as a serious assault."  Clark said.

        Clark adds about half of the Clements unit's population are considered mentally ill.

        There are currently about 3,700 inmates at the Clements unit ranging from the least violent to the most dangerous.
   
        The Clements unit also has a high rate of inmate sexual assaults.
 
        A survey released this summer by the Bureau of Justice Statistics ranks the Amarillo prison 8th in the nation when it comes to sexual assault claims.
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