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Inmates injured in prison yard fight

January 15, 2006|By PEPPER BALLARD

A fight involving about 10 inmates at Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown broke out Saturday afternoon in the yard, sending two inmates to the hospital and forcing the prison to call off visitors and restrict prisoner movement through at least Monday, a prison spokeswoman said.

At 1:15 p.m., after about 150 inmates from cell blocks C and D entered the yard for a recreation break, a fight, involving handmade weapons, broke out between two inmates, Maryland Division of Correction Spokeswoman Maj. Priscilla Doggett said.

After that fight began, another fight between inmates broke out in the yard, she said. Doggett said she wasn't sure of the number involved in that fight, but said about 20 inmates were involved in the entire incident.

"Eight have been identified (as involved in the fight) and are in custody," Doggett said. Those inmates have been placed on administrative segregation, she said.

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No correctional officers were injured in the fight, but three officers who helped break it up were evaluated because they came in contact with blood, Doggett said.

Four inmates were injured in the fight, two of whom were transported to Washington County Hospital for treatment, Doggett said. Both of those inmates had been released from the hospital and returned to the institution by mid-evening Saturday.

The names are not being disclosed because the investigation is continuing, Doggett said.

"We do not know what precipitated the fight," she said. "That's part of the investigation."

Because of the fight, the institution has been placed on lockdown through Monday, meaning prisoners will be held in their cell areas and not otherwise allowed to move throughout the prison.

Visitation also has been canceled through Monday, Doggett said.

Doggett said prisoners will be searched for contraband and weapons during that time.

The prison will evaluate whether to lift the lockdown status Tuesday, Doggett said.

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