Northpoint no longer on lockdown caused by fight

July 22, 2004|JULIE McGLOTHLIN

Northpoint Training Center returned to normal operations Wednesday afternoon, having been on lockdown since a fight broke out Monday evening. Inmates were enjoying their open yard time. Close to 20 prisoners were involved, and the investigation is still under way.

Lisa Lamb, a Department of Corrections spokesperson, said only minor injuries were sustained, although four inmates were taken to Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center for treatment. The most severe of these injuries included a fractured wrist and cuts that required stitches. No employees were injured.

The fight occurred about 6:30 p.m. and was brief. Lamb said routine procedure was followed in breaking up the melee.

"Hearing there were shots fired, that makes it sound really serious. A warning shot was fired in the air, which again is standard procedure. It ended immediately at that point," she said.

"Fortunately the staff acted appropriately and got things settled quickly."

While the cause of the altercation remains to be determined, 14 inmates were immediately identified as involved and subsequently placed in segregation. They have been transferred to other prisons in the state, per standard procedure. Several more were identified as participants in the fight after being interviewed by the warden.


Department of Corrections personnel are confident the facility will soon be able to return to normal. "They're patrolling through the dorms now, trying to get a feel for what is the atmosphere," Lamb said. "They're feeling pretty good about it."

"I won't say fights in prison are unusual, that's one of the realities of prison. But we've been lucky. This is the first such incident that involved more than two inmates going at it on the basketball court."

In September 1984 scores of inmates, reportedly angry over conditions at the then one-year-old prison, rioted. Kentucky State Police were called in to help quell the riot, which left at least two prison guards with serious injuries and several inmates with minor injuries.

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