Sunday, April 19, 2009

Prison lockdown still in effect in Cocoa

Eloisa Ruano Gonzalez

Sentinel Staff Writer

4:50 PM EDT, April 18, 2009


Not far from where a state prisoner in Volusia County was stabbed to death earlier this week, several inmates were injured at another prison.

The Brevard Correctional Institution in Cocoa remains in lockdown this weekend after a gang-related fight broke out earlier this week. None of the injuries were life-threatening.

It's common for prisons to be locked down while officials investigate possible gang activity, said Jo Ellyn Rackleff, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Corrections.

"We're especially careful because the animosity and loyalty of the gangs. That makes it difficult to conduct an investigation," she said.

No visitation will be allowed this weekend.

This is the second lockdown this year at the Brevard prison, which holds 19- to 24- year old men. On Feb. 26, Rackleff said the facility was locked down due to a fight.

On Thursday, Dexter L. Bridges, 46, was stabbed to death at the Tomoka Correctional Institution west of Daytona Beach. Bridges, who was serving a life sentence, got into a fight with another prisoner, Tommy Holmes, in the recreation yard. Holmes is accused of stabbing Bridges, who had been charged with attempted first-degree murder and robbery, with a makeshift knife in a dorm.

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