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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • USP remains on lockdown status

  • The U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth remained on lockdown Monday following fights a day earlier at the federal prison, according to a prison spokesman.
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  • The U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth remained on lockdown Monday following fights a day earlier at the federal prison, according to a prison spokesman.
    “We’re doing interviews as we speak,” Thomas Sheldrake, public information officer for the USP, said Monday.
    He said the interviews were being conducted to gather intelligence about what happened.
    The USP was placed on lockdown at about 5:15 p.m. Sunday. This decision followed a fight on the prison’s recreation yard around 2 p.m. Sunday and then a fight in one of the housing units.
    Sheldrake said prison officials believe the second fight was associated with the first incident.
    Sheldrake said the first fight may have been sparked by a “disrespect issue” over a basketball game but officials had not yet confirmed this Monday.
    Two inmates suffered minor scratches and bruises during the two fights. They were treated at the prison by medical staff. No USP employees were injured during the incidents.
    The two incidents were quickly contained and only a small number of inmates were involved, according to Sheldrake.
    During the lockdown, inmates are confined to their cells. Sheldrake said inmates can only leave their cells with an escort.
    Cells also are being searched during the lockdown.
    All programs, including visitation, are suspended during the lockdown. Sheldrake said visitation at the main prison takes place Friday through Sunday.
    The lockdown does not affect the camp that neighbors the main prison on the USP grounds. Sheldrake said the camp is running normal operations.
    He estimated the lockdown could last a couple of days but said it depends on the investigation.
    The USP also was placed on lockdown in late September. That lockdown lasted several days.
    That earlier lockdown was reported to have been put in place following three fights in a housing unit and an incident on the recreation yard. Warden Claude Maye later said it appeared the incidents were sparked by a dispute over a television.
    Sheldrake said the housing unit involved in those earlier incidents is not the same one that was the scene of a fight Sunday.
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