Prison investigators continue to find out cause of fight that led to stabbings

A tier of the Maryland Correctional Institution in Jessup remained on lockdown Friday, a day after three inmates were stabbed in an argument among several prisoners.

Two men suffered wounds that were not life-threatening. Another man, who was stabbed several times in the upper body, was "seriously injured," but his condition Friday was unknown, said Mark Vernarelli, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Paramedics were summoned to the medium-security prison in the 7800 block of House of Correction Road at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Two of the inmates were taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center and one was treated at Laurel Regional Hospital.

Prison investigators recovered several homemade weapons, but Vernarelli did not have information on what they were.

Detectives from the public safety department's Internal Investigative Unit continue to question inmates about the fight. No suspects have been named and prison officials declined to release the identities of the victims because of the pending investigation.

Vernarelli said all three are serving time for either assault or robbery convictions.

State prison officials say "serious assaults" on both staff and detainees remain lower than in previous years. Serious assaults are defined as any incident that requires more than basic first-aid, Vernarelli said. He could recall no other such incidents this year in the prison system.

According to state correctional services, serious assaults on detainees have declined every fiscal year but one since 2007, when 271 inmates or detainees suffered serious assaults. Last year, 128 inmates or detainees were seriously assaulted.

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