Fights quelled at state prison

June 15, 2007

Corrections officers restored order at the Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown last night after simultaneous fights broke out in two outdoor areas, a correction spokesman said.

No staff members were injured, said Mark Vernarelli, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. The prison is a medium-security facility built in the 1930s, he said.

Three institutions at the Hagerstown complex had been on lockdown until Wednesday after an altercation between members of two gangs in the minimum security yard Saturday, said one prison source familiar with the complex who asked not to be identified.

The grudge stems from a June 1 fight that broke out between the Bloods gang and Sunni Muslim prisoners on June 1 at the Metropolitan Transition Center in Baltimore, the source said.

A corrections spokeswoman acknowledged at the time that a gang was involved in the transition center fight but would not release further details.

After 18 prisoners injured in the fight were released from the hospital, they were transferred to other facilities around the state.

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