Lockdown set to continue at prison

Restrictions will remain in place through at least Wednesday, officials say.


WALLA WALLA -- Washington State Penitentiary's West Complex remained on lockdown today and will remain that way at least through Wednesday afternoon.

The four close-custody living units in the complex have been locked down since Saturday night after a fight that started at 7:40 p.m. between four inmates with handmade sharpened weapons in the commons area of Echo unit.

When correctional officers went in to break up the fight, they were assaulted by two of the prisoners, officials said. Four officers sustained injuries and one was saved from a potentially fatal stab wound when the weapon was stopped by a notebook in his pocket, according to reports.

All four officers were treated at a local hospital and released. Several prisoners also sustained injuries and were treated at the prison, said Shari Hall, penitentiary spokeswoman.

A total of six prisoners have been placed in segregation and four weapons were recovered after the fight, Hall said. A report Monday that only two inmates were in segregation was incorrect.

The four units, Delta, Echo, Fox and Golf, house high-risk offenders, including gang members. Close-custody is the second-highest custody level in the prison. Each West Complex unit houses a total of 187 prisoners.

Hall said prison officials will review the situation Wednesday afternoon and decide at that time if the lockdown is to be continued or modified.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.


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