Officials sorting out cause of prison brawl

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WALLA WALLA — Two units at the Washington State Penitentiary remained locked down today following multiple fights between inmates Saturday.

The lockdown of the Delta and Echo units will continue through Wednesday afternoon, said Shari Hall, prison spokeswoman. Two other units, Fox and Golf, are on restricted movement until this afternoon, when officers will review the operational plan.

All four units, in the prison’s West Complex, were locked down after 38 prisoners began fighting in an outside recreation area shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday. About 180 inmates were in the area when the fights broke out, Hall said today.

Corrections officers secured the area within minutes and the prisoners involved in the fighting have been placed in segregation units. Several prisoners received minor injuries, which were treated by prison medical staff. No corrections officers were injured.

Officers are interviewing prisoners to determine the cause of brawl, Hall said.

The four West Complex units house about 760 close-custody inmates. During a lockdown inmates are not allowed out of their cells for work, meals or recreation. Prisoners in Fox and Golf units, who were not involved in the fighting, are being allowed to participate in limited activities and programs.

The entire penitentiary houses more than 2,200 offenders in minimum, close and maximum-custody units.

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