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String of fights spark Oregon State Penitentiary lockdown


Oregon State Penitentiary was placed on lockdown Friday after a series of fights between inmates. The institution is currently running on modified operations and visitation is canceled until further notice, the Oregon Department of Corrections said Saturday.

Several fights broke out around 2:30 p.m. Friday,, prompting prison officials to place the institution on lockdown. More fights occurred into the evening and on Saturday morning.

A total of 155 inmates were placed in special housing for their involvement in the altercations. Five inmates required outside medical treatment for non-life threatening injuries. No staff injuries were reported.

An investigation is being conducted to determine the cause of the incidents.

OSP is Oregon’s only maximum-security prison, located in Salem, and houses over 2,000 male inmates. OSP is surrounded by a 25-foot-high wall with 10 towers. The facility has multiple special housing units including death row, disciplinary segregation, behavioral health, intermediate care housing, and an infirmary (with hospice) with 24-hour nursing care.

OSP participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including the furniture factory, laundry, metal shop, and contact center. It provides a range of correctional programs and services including education, work-based education, inmate work crews, and pre-release services. OSP was established in 1866 and, until 1959, was Oregon’s only prison.

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