Prison still on lockdown, most officers back to work

March 01, 2001|By KELLY GRANT, Staff Writer

Of the 11 correctional officers injured in several assaults at Centinela State Prison on Feb. 21, all but three were back at work today.

Five of the injured took no time off, three returned this week and three others are expected back next week, prison Public Information Officer Deavonne Long said.

The officer sustaining the most serious injury reported back to full duty today, Long said.

The prisons' four maximum- security facilities remained on lockdown today and will most likely stay that way until next week, Long said.

Immediately following the attacks, prison officials declared a state of emergency in the Level 4 facilities and then for the entire prison, excluding the minimum-security yards, Long said.


The state of emergency declaration allows prison staff to suspend normal operations, including visitation practices, Long said.

Staff has instead focused on searching the four maximum-security facilities. Facility C, the site of the attacks, has already been searched and Long expects a comprehensive search of facility D to be completed today.

Searches of facilities A and B will begin later this week.

"It takes time, but it's our goal to get the institution back to normal programming," particularly those facilities not involved in the attacks, Long said.

"It's more important to be safe," Long said.

"We're looking to open visiting for those facilities uninvolved this weekend," Long said.

The most recent numbers show Centinela houses 4,404 inmates. About 4,100 of those are in its four maximum-security facilities.

During four separate attacks Feb. 21, inmates assaulted 11 correctional officers, stabbing five of them.

The eight inmates involved have since been transferred to another facility and likely will face criminal charges for their roles in the assaults.

The attacks are still under investigation.

Staff Writer Kelly Grant can be reached at 337-3441.

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