Police discovered refrigerators, television sets and electric fans during a surprise inspection of a prison in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, authorities said.

The electrical appliances were found Wednesday night in a more than 3-hour search of cells and common areas at Torreon Prison, the state Attorney General's Office said in a statement.

"The inmates were told that the penal center is run by legal authorities and there will be no self-government nor any privileges," the statement said.

Violence in the cities of Torreon and Saltillo, Coahuila's capital, has been on the rise for a year due to a turf war between the Sinaloa and Los Zetas drug cartels.

Civil organizations say that in recent years inmates at Mexico's federal and state prisons have suffered grave and constant violations of their individual rights, though "privileges" do exist for some.

New President Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office on Dec. 1, ordered Government Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong "to take steps to secure control of the penitentiary system with policies that allow the rehabilitation of convicts." EFE