Twelve inmates have been placed in lockup after a disturbance Monday night at the North Central Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction in Calico Rock.
George Brewer, a spokesman for the prison, said fighting among inmates started after one prisoner refused to take part in a fire drill.
The prisoner was taking a shower when officers instructed him to exit the shower and take part in the drill.
The prisoner's cousin became agitated because officers continued to instruct him to get out of the shower. The cousin got inmates in three separate barracks agitated over the matter, Brewer reported.
He said the inmates started throwing personal property and broke 15 windows from the three barracks. "When things get thrown tempers flare," Brewer said.
He said the broken windows are not a breach in security because bars are behind the glass.
The Emergency Response Team was contacted to control the situation but guards were able to contain the majority of the problems, Brewer added.
The team stayed at the prison for about two hours sorting out the details of the incident and getting inmates under control, Brewer said.
Twelve inmates were injured and four of those could face felony charges, Brewer said.
The 12 in lockup are not allowed to socialize with the general population because of the disciplinary problems; they are restricted in one- to two-man cells.
The prison is taking extra precautions by feeding only half of the barracks at a time. Some of the work crews are not being allowed to leave the prison. The safety measures are being taken to give the inmates a chance to clam down, Brewer said.
"It's quiet up there now," Brewer said.
The Arkansas State Police is investigating the matter. Estimates are not available on damages.