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UPRISING STIRS NEW PLEA FOR MORE CELLS

In the wake of a disturbance that injured 10 guards, Glenn Goord, state commissioner of correctional services, has renewed his plea for more cells for the prison system.

"Staff employees . . . deserve to be able to come to work and go home safely," Goord said Saturday, hours after hoards of state police and corrections officers quelled a disturbance involving nearly 300 inmates in the Mohawk Correctional Facility.

Nine guards were treated at area hospitals and released, Goord said. One, who was shift supervisor when the melee erupted at the medium-security prison, remained hospitalized today with fractured ribs and a possible concussion.

Just what caused the disturbance remained under investigation. Goord said 50 to 75 inmates would be transferred to other prisons.

Mohawk has 1,314 beds and 1,305 inmates, including 141 who share cells. A special housing unit to hold inmates who misbehave has only 48 cells and was filled when the disturbance began, Goord said.

He said the disturbance indicates the 7,000 prison cells Gov. Pataki proposes to add over the next five years are needed.

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