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  • mcprison mcprison Nov 30, 2001 11:14 PM Flag

    A little trouble at Taft

    Work stoppage forces prison lockdown

    By DAVIN McHENRY, Californian staff writer
    e-mail: Monday November 26, 2001, 09:33:35 PM Almost the entire prison population at Taft Correctional Institution was locked down Monday morning after inmates refused to report to work.Officials said all 1,868 low-security inmates refused to go to work Monday morning at the privately run federal prison.Every inmate is required to have a job and typically reports for work early in the morning. Jobs range from working in the kitchen to tending the prison grounds.When the inmates refused to leave their dormitories at roughly 7 a.m., prison officials locked down everything except an adjacent minimum-security camp. The lockdown will remain in effect until investigators determine the cause of the work stoppage, said prison spokesman Terry Craig."We're still trying to gather information on what is going on," he said.While Monday's work stoppage was nonviolent, prisonwide protests are not something to be taken lightly, according to Traci Billingsley, a spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons."A work stoppage or food strike can be real serious," she said. "They can sometimes go from very peaceful to violent."Monday's lockdown is the second at the Taft prison in as many months. On Oct. 20 the prison was shut down for several days after two fights broke out between black and Hispanic inmates. The fight was initially limited to just three inmates inside a dormitory but eventually spread to the prison's main compound. Two inmates suffered moderate injuries in the fights.Craig declined to say what the cause of the fights was.Built by the Bureau of Prisons in 1996 and opened nearly two years later, the Taft prison houses the 1,868 low-security inmates and has a separate camp with roughly 450 to 500 minimum-security inmates. The prison is run by Wackenhut Correctional Corp.

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