Eight guards and four inmates were hurt in a disturbance at the Baltimore City Detention Center late Friday, prompting state correctional officials to lock the 2,900 prisoners in their cells yesterday while an investigation was under way.
Correctional officials said the institution was quiet and orderly as officers fed the inmates in their cells. All other activities were curtailed.
City and state police were summoned outside the detention center about 11:30 p.m. Friday while about 30 correctional officers worked to quell the disturbance in the segregation unit, a special area for troublesome prisoners, said Barbara A. Cooper, a spokeswoman for the center.
Ms. Cooper said the incident began when several of the 51 inmates in the segregation unit set fire to their mattresses for unknown reasons.
The fires were extinguished without calling in the Fire Department.
But, fearing that inmates might be overcome by smoke, supervisors decided to move all of the special unit's prisoners to another area of the detention center, the spokeswoman said.
As the inmates were being transferred from the four tiers in the north building, a melee broke out with prisoners using broken pieces of furniture as weapons, Ms. Cooper said.
JTC About 25 more correctional officers from other areas of the jail were required before the fight was brought under control about 1 a.m., she added.
Seven correctional officers and one supervisor were treated at three area hospitals for facial and head cuts and released, correctional officials said.
They said four inmates were treated at the detention center infirmary for smoke inhalation.
Most prisoners at the detention center, taken over by the state last year, are awaiting trial.
C7 Others are serving sentences of six months or less.