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Cell search under way as Centinela remains on lockdown

February 26, 2001|By KELLY RAUSCH, Staff Writer

Centinela State Prison remained on lockdown today as prison officials conducted a comprehensive search of every cell in the institution.

Along with weapons confiscated after Wednesday's assaults, officers found three additional weapons and two pieces of unsharpened metal weapon stock, said Centinela prison Public Information Officer Deavonne Long.

Those weapons were discovered in buildings separate from where the attacks occurred. The weapons were not found on inmates but in uncontrolled areas, Long said.

"We're taking action to provide the safest environment for searching for inmates and officers," Long said.

"When we return to normal programs we will have done everything possible," Long said.

Except for the minimum security yard, the prison remains on lockdown. Visitation was suspended over the weekend for all but minimum-security inmates, Long said.

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Long anticipates the prison will remain on lockdown throughout the week. Officials will seek to lift the lockdown on all areas where the attacks did not occur as soon as possible. Lockdown is indefinite at the C-facility where the attacks took place, Long said.

During four separate attacks Wednesday, 11 correctional officers, including five who were stabbed, were assaulted by inmates.

The motivation for the attacks is still under investigation, Long said. It is still unknown if the attacks were related, Long said.

There was no confrontation between officers and inmates precipitating the attacks, Long said. Officials have conducted some interviews and interviewing of staff and inmates will continue this week, Long said.

"We're trying to get a feel for what exactly happened out there," Long said.

Staff Writer Kelly Rausch can be reached at 33-3441.

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