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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina prison officials concerned about gang violence are locking inmates in their cells at high-security prisons statewide.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports five of the six prisons have returned to normal operations.

The violence began at the Scotland Correctional Institution in Laurinburg, which has been on lock-down off and on since January.

Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Pamela Walker says after gang fights among inmates broke out at Scotland, lock-downs were imposed within days at the Maury, Lanesboro, Pasquotank, Bertie and
Foothills prisons. The goal was thwarting coordinated gang activity.

Neal Richards of the Chapel Hill Prison Books Collective says his organization collected prisoners’ complaints of guards and inmates being attacked. Richards says the crackdown sparked hunger strikes and inmates intentionally flooding their cells.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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