Lockdown begins to ease at Washington State Penitentiary

Four units have been on restrictions since two large fights broke out last month.

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WALLA WALLA -- A lockdown of four units at Washington State Penitentiary's West Complex is starting to ease.

Starting Tuesday, correctional industry workers from all units were allowed to return to work, according to the latest operational plan posted on the prison's Web site. Some restrictions on meals, recreation and education were also eased in some units.

The four close-custody units, Delta, Echo, Fox and Golf, were locked down after two large fights between inmates. Fox and Golf units were locked down on Nov. 14 after a fight involving more than 50 prisoners in the Golf unit. Delta and Echo were locked down Nov. 22 after a fight broke out between more than 20 inmates in the Delta unit dayroom.

According to prison officials, each unit holds 187 inmates. Investigators plan to interview all inmates in each unit as part of their investigation into what caused the fights.

The current plan will be reviewed and possibly changed Thursday afternoon, according to the operational plan.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318. Check out his blog at blogs.ublabs.org/randomthoughts.

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