Prison units on restrictions after fight

About 35 inmates were involved in the Saturday evening altercation, officials say.


WALLA WALLA -- Two close-custody units at the Washington State Penitentiary were placed on restricted movement earlier this week due to a fight Saturday.

Prison spokeswoman Shari Hall said the fight occurred about 7 p.m. in the day room area of Unit E, one of the four close-custody units in the prison's new West Complex.

The altercation initially involved three inmates but other prisoners also began to join in, Hall said. Correctional officers were able to break up the altercation, which involved an estimated 35 offenders, within minutes. No injuries other than cuts and abrasions were reported and none of the injuries involved correctional officers.

After the fight, Unit E and Unit D were placed on restricted movement, under which all extracurricular activities are curtailed. The restrictions have been phased out and both units are expected to be back on normal status by Thanksgiving Day. All other units in the West Complex and the Main Institution remained on normal status.

The cause of the fight was determined to be gang-related, Hall said.

Andy Porter can be reached at or 526-8318. Check out his blog at


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