36-man fight at Snake River Correctional Institution sends two to the hospital

Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario. (The Enterprise/file)

ONTARIO – Two inmates needed medical care last week after a fight broke out at Snake River Correctional Institution that involved 36 inmates, according to Oregon State Police and prison officials.

Amber Campbell, prison spokeswoman, said the fight on Wednesday, Dec. 9, started over an incident of perceived disrespect in the dayroom associated with the inmates’ housing unit. Although the fight involved three dozen men, it didn’t spread beyond the housing unit where it began to other parts of SRCI, Campbell said.

She said that correctional officers halted the fight with chemical spray and verbal commands, and that no weapons were involved.

However, two of the adults in custody were hurt badly enough to need outside medical care. They were treated and returned to the prison. 

State Police Sgt. Javier Marquez said that a third man had also been injured badly enough to merit investigation. 

“Our focus was to concentrate on those three adults in custody who were injured,” he said. However, “those adults in custody who were injured were not critically injured, and last we knew they are still at SRCI.”

Marquez said state police have closed their investigation.

Campbell said that all 36 men involved had been placed in disciplinary segregation following the fight, and that the prison is conducting its own review of the incident.

Snake River is the state’s largest prison, with a maximum capacity of 3,062 inmates.

News tip? Contact reporter Liliana Frankel at [email protected] or 267-981-5577.