Lockdown continues at Washington State Penitentiary

A major fight last week led to the measures in four units at the prison.

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WALLA WALLA -- Four units at the Washington State Penitentiary remained on lockdown today after a major fight between inmates last week.

Rowlanda Cawthon, public information officer with the Department of Corrections in Olympia, said there had been no change in status as of this morning.

The four close-custody units in the West Complex have been on lockdown since Thursday due to concerns about the causes of a brawl involving about 50 prisoners.

The incident began about 7 p.m. last Tuesday in the commons area of Unit G when two inmates began fighting. Although that altercation was quickly stopped, within minutes a second fight began with multiple inmates joining the fray.

Although only Unit G was placed on restricted movement status following the fight, prison Superintendent Stephen Sinclair ordered the lockdown Wednesday afternoon as investigators continued to conduct interviews and complete searches of cells and other areas.

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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