JACKSON TWP. — Two inmates suffered stab wounds Wednesday morning during a fight in the regular exercise yard at the all-male State Correctional Institution at Dallas that led to a lockdown of the prison.
The inmates had non-life threatening injuries and were transported to a local hospital. No staff members were injured and the homemade weapon used in the assault was recovered in the yard, according to prison officials.
Robin Lucas, assistant to superintendent Lawrence Mahally, said there was no danger to the public at any time. Prison staff responded quickly and ended the fight, Lucas said in an email. She described the lockdown as “not uncommon after a fight involving several inmates takes place.”
Lucas explained an in-house investigation is underway to determine what led up to the fight and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. The information gathered in the investigation will be provided to the Pennsylvania State Police to determine whether any charges will be filed.
Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said the state police are handling the investigation.
A source speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to comment said corrections officers searched the yard after the fight and found five other “shanks” or homemade knives. Lucas would not confirm the source’s comment.
“We won’t provide any information that may be part of that investigation. So we won’t get into details about any weapons, types of injuries nor will we provide any names of inmates involved,” Lucas said.
The state Department of Corrections’ website listed the inmate population at the prison at 2,119 or 109 percent of capacity as of Aug. 31. The prison was designed to house a maximum of 1,941 inmates.
Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott