Life was pretty much back to normal at two Maryland prisons today after a brief disturbance was quelled over the weekend at a facility near Hagerstown and rebellious inmates were returned to their cells in C Dorm at the Maryland Penitentiary.
Greg Shipley, a spokesman for the Maryland Division of Correction, said an investigation was under way into an incident Friday evening in which about 20 inmates at the Maryland Correctional Training Center in Hagerstown barricaded themselves into a day room after guards launched a surprise search for weapons in their cells.
The search, at 8:30 p.m. Friday, had been prompted by a tip that weapons might be found in the C tier of Housing Unit 4. About 90 inmates were moved from that area into a day room to permit the search.
"About 20 of the inmates in that group became unruly, barricaded the door with tables, broke out windows, broke fluorescent lights, broke a TV in that room and refused to come back out," Shipley said.
"They didn't like their cells being searched," he said.
Prison authorities ordered an immediate lock-down of the entire facility to prevent further disturbances.
Warden Lloyd Waters arrived to speak to the rebellious inmates, and about 11:15 p.m., "they agreed to come out peacefully," Shipley said. No one was injured in the disturbance.
Damage to the day room was estimated at $1,000.
The search of C tier, meanwhile, turned up two small packets of suspected heroin and a metal bar which had been fashioned into a weapon, Shipley said.
The lock-down was lifted Saturday morning. No incidents were reported yesterday.
Investigations into the disturbance, the drugs and the weapon found during the search could lead to criminal and institutional charges against the inmates involved, Shipley said.
At the Maryland Penitentiary in Baltimore, Shipley said, three dormitory-style housing units in C Dorm have been closed in the wake of a 23-hour prison uprising that began there June 16.
Inmates in C Dorm were returned to cell areas Friday evening, after spending more than a week in tents set up in the prison yard.
Prison authorities had refused to let inmates back into the building until they found two guns and prison keys left unaccounted for after the rebellion, in which two correctional officers were taken hostage.
The items were finally located July 23.
Shipley said most of the 200 C Dorm inmates were returned to their cells. But 57 who had been housed in three dormitory rooms were moved instead to space in the prison's West Wing.
"There will be no inmates in the three dorm rooms in [C Dorm] from now on," Shipley said.