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State Corrections Department officials confirmed last evening that Attica Correctional Facility has been placed on lockdown, following a fight in "A-Yard" of the prison, which is in the southwest corner of the complex.

The big fight occurred Thursday, when 26 inmates apparently got into a fracas and refused to follow orders to cease. Long-range deterrents were used to subdue the inmates. A smaller fight at the prison also occurred Wednesday, in which 6 inmates got roughed up. One received minor injuries and was transported to Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo. The prisoner has since been returned to the prison.

The lockdown was enacted Friday morning.

State Department of Corrections Services spokesman Peter Cutler tells WBTA News, this should not evoke memories of the infamous Attica Prison Riot of 1971.

"I'd be careful to characterize it (that way)...these were fights, and they were between individuals in the facility. Nothing organized," says Cutler. "They were related to maybe some individual grievances...the staff took appropriate and swift action."

Cutler could not confirm whether any gang activity or similar actions were involved in the fights. He said only that investigations continue into the cause of the brawls.

"I think what was unusual was that these two events occurred on successive days, in the same yard, even though they were different individuals (involved)," Cutler said. "The fact that there's been no lockdown at this facility in 5 years...the administration at the facility and our department agree that this is as good a time as any, to lock-down...and engage in what is really more of a preventative action than anything else."

The prison lockdown will remain in effect for several days.


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