San Juan County Adult Detention Center Administrator Tom Havel said the men involved in the incident will be facing up to 30 days of isolation, depending on their role.
At about 8:15 a.m. Saturday, 38 male prisoners who were eating breakfast together grew angry when the milk ran out.
Havel said everyone received their standard 20-ounce glass of milk but the inmates became upset because there was not enough for seconds.
“They got their milk,” Havel said. “We're not going to give them more when we have people in this community who can't afford a meal.”
A 20-ounce glass of milk is part of each prisoner's 3,000-calorie diet, Havel said.
When the milk ran out, the prisoners eating started being insubordinate to detention center officers, Havel.
“They started catcalling a female officer, which is unacceptable,” he said.
Guards ordered the inmates back to their cells. Sixteen of the men obliged and the other 22 disobeyed orders and continued to heckle.
Jail personnel shot eight canisters of tear gas onto the unruly inmates, quickly ending the disturbance at about 8:50 a.m., Havel said.
Local law enforcement agencies were called to the jail when the riot started but Havel said it is unlikely criminal charges will be filed against any of the men involved in the riot.
No one was injured.
Havel said it was the first time a collection of prisoners rioted against jail officials in the facility's seven-year history.