30 inmates move from tents to cells at penitentiary


The Maryland Penitentiary was quiet yesterday as 30 inmates agreed to leave the tent city in the prison's recreation yard and move into empty cells in the west wing, a prison spokesman said.

Sgt. Gregory M. Shipley, spokesman for the state Division of Correction, said about 200 inmates remained in the yard yesterday, as corrections officers, about 20 boot-camp inmates and four police dogs scoured cells in C Dormitory searching for a second gun used in Wednesday's standoff. One gun has been found.

During the 23-hour standoff, two prison guards were held hostage but were released unharmed.

In the wake of the standoff, inmates were shepherded into the recreation yard, where they were provided with tents and mattresses. But on Saturday, prisoners began tearing up mattresses, stacking them near the prison gates and taking down the tents.

About 50 state police officers were called in as a precaution, but by 10:30 p.m. Saturday the prisoners had put up the tents again and replaced the mattresses, Sergeant Shipley said.

The state police tactical squads left at 1:25 a.m. yesterday, police said.

In their search for the gun and a set of keys, prison officials began boxing up inmates' personal belongings in C Dormitory yesterday, Sergeant Shipley said.

The items will be searched and removing them will allow more thorough examination of the cells, he said.

The prisoners have been told they will not be allowed back into their cells until the gun and keys are found.

There is room for 104 inmates in the prison's west wing, but as of Saturday, only 23 had taken advantage of the offer to go into the temporary cells, Sergeant Shipley said.

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