A lockdown of the Sonoma County Jail following fights Wednesday and Thursday between Norteno gang members and black inmates was lifted today. Sonoma County sheriff’s Capt. Randall Walker said the lockdown was lifted for all but the gang members at 8 a.m. Those inmates still have limited access to services, are not receiving personal visits except from professionals and attorneys and are not getting recreation time. There have been three recent fights between the two groups of inmates recently, Walker said. The jail was locked down briefly after a fight around 7 p.m. Wednesday, Walker said. The jail was locked down again after a fight Thursday around 10 a.m. Jail staff decided Thursday around 6 p.m. to lift the lockdown this morning, Walker said. Three correctional officers received minor injuries during the Wednesday evening fight in the D module that houses inmates in jail for “maximum and medium charges,” Walker said. None of the inmates was seriously injured. Walker would not say how many inmates were involved in the fighting. The main county jail in Santa Rosa has 689 inmates and about 110 of them are Norteno gang members, Walker said. There are about 50 black inmates at the jail, he said. About one-third of the jail’s inmates are gang members, he said. There have been fights between gang members and black inmates in other county jails and at state corrections facilities for a long time but none until recently at the Sonoma County Jail, Walker said. The lockdown of the gang members will be lifted after jail staff “makes sure we have a good handle on the violence and know who was responsible and who initiated it,” Walker said.
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