The Saint John Regional Correctional Centre was under a lockdown Saturday after 16 inmates barricaded themselves in one of the units.
The disturbance resulted in "extensive damage" to the jail, said Meghan Cumby, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety.
No one was injured, she said.
Saint John police are investigating.
The incident started in the morning and was resolved by staff by mid-afternoon, with police and other emergency personnel on hand to provide backup, Cumby said.
She did not elaborate on the nature of the damage, or estimate the probable cost of repairs.
It's unclear what sparked the incident at the Old Black River Road facility, but it comes on the heels of CBC's The Fifth Estate airing a feature Friday night about Ashley Smith, a New Brunswick teenager, who died in prison in 2007.
The program had dramatic footage showing Smith being pepper-sprayed and about to be jolted with a stun gun in her cell during the almost four-year period prior to her death.
Smith, who committed a series of minor offences, including throwing crab apples at a letter carrier, spent 2003 to 2006 in two New Brunswick correctional facilities — one of which was the one in Saint John.
She was later transferred to several different federal prisons across Canada, eventually arriving at a federal women's prison near Kitchener, Ont., where she was found dead in her cell in October 2007. The 19-year-old died of asphyxia with a ligature around her neck.
The inmates involved in Saturday's incident were to be moved to other units at the jail, or other facilities within the province, Cumby said.
About 153 inmates are housed at the jail.