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'Major disturbance' at prison called gang-related activity

January 03, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - Roxbury Correctional Institution was expected to resume normal operations this morning after it was locked down for several days after simultaneous fights in three housing units Sunday, a prison spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Some inmates were treated at the prison infirmary following the "major disturbance," but no staff members were injured, according to Larry Kump, president of the union that represents some prison workers.

The level II medium-security RCI was locked down until Wednesday morning at 7 a.m., at which point normal operations resumed in most of the institution, Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services spokeswoman Rosa Cruz said Wednesday night.

When a prison is locked down, nonessential services like programs and recreation are restricted to reduce large inmate movements, and inmates are fed in their cells but may still receive medical attention, Cruz said.

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About 85 percent of the prison resumed normal operations Wednesday and the rest of the institution was expected to resume a normal schedule this morning, she said.

Several inmates were injured and were treated at the prison's infirmary, said Kump, president of the Maryland Classified Employees Association (MCEA) Public Safety Non-Custody Employees Chapter.

The fights were in three of the prison's five housing units, Kump said.

Emergency dispatchers reported that no ambulances were sent to RCI.

The staff maintained control of the housing units at all times, said Kump, who described the violence as gang-related.

Officers from the Maryland Correctional Training Center and the Maryland Correctional Institution responded to RCI to help suppress the fights, Cruz said.

About 10 officers from each institution assisted, she said.

MCI was locked down in June after as many as 225 inmates were involved in fights at the medium-security prison.

MCI Warden Nancy L. Rouse said in June that 16 inmates were injured during that fighting, including one inmate who was taken to Washington County Hospital with stab wounds.

Rouse in June characterized those fights as gang-related.

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