FORT ANN -- Inmates started three fights Friday at Great Meadow Correctional Facility, resulting in a lockdown and one prisoner needing about 95 stitches.
The first fight began in the morning in a cell area, then two more fights occurred in the afternoon in the prison yard, said Dan Mulligan, correction officer and president of the New York State Correctional Officer & Police Benevolent Association at Great Meadow.
The inmate who received the stitches was cut with a weapon. Prison staff distinguish between stabbing, which involves punctures, and cutting, which relates to slashing.
The maximum security prison requires any inmate involved in a fight to receive treatment by medical staff on-site. One inmate was sent to an outside hospital, but Mulligan said he didn't believe there were any life-threatening issues.
No prison staff members were injured, nor did they fire shots or deploy chemical agents.
The lockdown began after the last fight. Inmates are typically only locked in their cells to sleep at night, but the emergency measure keeps the prisoners in their cells 24/7. Staff also conduct an intensive sweep of the premises.
The lockdown was in effect until further notice as of Friday evening.
The first fight occurred around 9 a.m. and involved around four to six people. The second fight began around 1 p.m. and involved around nine people, and the last fight was around 3:30 p.m. and included a dozen or more people.
Prison staff have recovered cutting-type weapons from the fight.
"You can make a weapon out of anything," Mulligan said. "I've seen them make weapons out of cellophane from (cigarette packs)."
In the past, prisoners have heated and melted Cellophane and plastic wrap, Mulligan said, to make objects as hard as Plexiglass.