Pen unit locked down after assault of staff member

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WALLA WALLA -- One unit at the Washington State Penitentiary is under lockdown today after a staff member was assaulted Monday.

The assault occurred in a day room of Unit G in the prison's West Complex. The unit is one of four close-custody facilities in the West Complex, which went into operation in mid-2008.

The lockdown does not affect the remainder of the prison, which remains on normal status today, according to an on-line posting on the state Department of Corrections website.

Each of the four close-custody units in the West Complex can hold between 198-200 inmates. During the lockdown, prisoners are not allowed out of their cells for work assignments, education or recreation. All visits for inmates in the unit have also been canceled.

Prison officials will review the lockdown status this morning.

An investigation into the assault is continuing.

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