Bad Prison Wine Blamed for Landing Seven Inmates in Intensive Care

Categories: Booze
Seven state prison inmates in Florence are in intensive care, probably because they tried to get wasted this weekend.

Of course, the prison doesn't bring in bottles of pinot grigio for the inmates, so Pinal County officials are thinking it was the homemade "pruno" that did the inmates in, and landed them in the hospital with botulism.

According to information from the county, four prison-wine connoisseurs got super-sick around the same time on Saturday, and by noon Sunday, seven inmates were in intensive care.

The Centers for Disease Control is involved, as it has to release the anti-toxin in any botulism poisoning, and it has indeed released that anti-toxin to the medical professionals treating the inmates.

The county says it's not certain that the "pruno" is to blame, but prison officials happened to find some samples of this prison wine to send to the CDC.

As the county's health folks explain, "Sickness and death from botulism toxicity was more common many years ago, often coming from home-canned food and fruits. Increased attention to food safety and proper food handling methods has dramatically decreased the number of human toxicity cases from botulism."

The Arizona State Prison Complex-Eyman, in Florence, made it almost three months without a prison-wine/botulism incident.

On August 6, four inmates were hospitalized, and believe it or not, the seven inmates hospitalized in this incident were all being housed in the same unit as the last incident -- Special Management Unit 1 of the Florence prison.

According to the latest count from the prison (today), 513 inmates are housed in this unit. In total, 5,143 inmates call the prison home.

If you feel like there's a possibility that you may go to prison at some point in your life, click here for instructions on properly preparing prison wine.

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ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Mr. Hendley, If you're going to write about the Arizona Department of Corrections, you need to get informed. google: Wexford Health lawsuits in Illinois and elsewhere /  Abu Ghraib Chuck Ryan / Sunbelt Justice: Arizona and the transformation of Punishment in America by Mona Lynch  / the "torture memos"

The inmates do NOT get fresh fruit or vegetables so we are told, they don't make alcohol. So what were they fed?  Packaging for inmates chicken is often marked "unfit for human consumption".  Ask DOC and MCSO about that?

There have been many unnecessary deaths at DOC under this Governor and Director who are responsible for the safety and well-being of those in their custody. The deaths have more than doubled. 

This is the public's problem.  All are at risk for being thrown into Arizona's criminal justice system where non-violent first offenders are sentenced to prison for decades. Sentenced to 75 years -- a defacto life sentence.  Get the stats on sentencing in Arizona for the non-violent, first offenders.  There are two death sentences in Arizona -- time to write about that.  This is the second incident in months and should raise red flags and a public outcry!


This just happened last in july, and the AZ DOC's claim it was fromprison hooch was an outright lie. Those men got sick from something theyate this summer, and three of the four were left to suffer with it for aweek without medical attention before being taken to the hospital. That's twice now since Wexford took over that there's been a botulismoutbreak. So before anyone else buys the latest DOC report that theirprisoners are just up to no good again, let's look at the other possiblereasons for this kind of exceptionally rare outbreak to have occurredtwice in the same prison in just a few months period of time (mind you -there were only 110 cases of botulism poisoning in the entire US in2010 - only 9 of which were food-borne). Even if this batch of botulismreally came from an alcoholic beverage cooked up in a cell and not a canof beef stew or something smuggled out of the chow hall, I'd be lookingat what they're selling in the canteen theses days. Something thoseguys are eating in that prison just isn't right...


Maybe they should have left out the tuna.


Rice, potatoes and fresh grapefruits is the best combo............tastes like vodka!

ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

SMU is solitary confinement. Kept in a cell 23 hours a day. It is not possible for a "group" to gather much less make something. Something is very disturbing here.

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