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INMATES REMAIN UNDER LOCKDOWN AFTER THIRD NIGHT OF RACIAL BRAWLS.

Byline: Associated Press

About 8,000 inmates at the Pitchess Detention Center remained under lockdown Thursday after a third night of racial brawling involving about 500 men.

More than 220 inmates and three deputies have been injured this week. The medium- and maximum-security complex in Saugus has been plagued by racial tensions for years.

There were eight short outbreaks Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, none lasting more than three minutes, said Deputy Bob Killeen, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

All the fights were at the ``supermax'' North County Correctional Facility, and the other three lockups at Pitchess were quiet, Killeen said. So were other county jails, including downtown Men's Central.

The other jails had also been temporarily locked down for fear the fighting would spread, but those operations were back to normal, he said.

All four of the Pitchess jails remained under lockdown, with inmates confined to cells.

On Wednesday night, guards broke up the brawls by commands or by using sting-ball grenades, which blast rubber pellets, Killeen said. Thirteen prisoners received minor scrapes and bruises, he said, and no guards were hurt.

``So far it's been quiet,'' Killeen said. ``We're just hoping it stays that way so we can get this behind us.''

Fighting began Monday afternoon, and the lockdown was imposed Tuesday after disturbances left 188 inmates with major injures, 26 with minor injuries and three deputies with minor injuries, said Deputy Bill Martin.

Under lockdown conditions, inmates' movements are restricted. They are allowed no visitors and are served boxed meals rather than being allowed to congregate at dining tables.
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Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 22, 1996
Words:267
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