Launched after two fights in quick succession at the prison shortly after noon Monday, the restricted status keeps inmates from leaving their housing units but is not a lockdown, which would keep them in their cells, Idaho Department of Corrections spokesman Jeff Ray said Tuesday.
Both fights involved members of "security threat groups ... commonly known as gangs," Ray said, adding that injuries were limited to "bruises, scratches and scrapes."
"A correctional officer was, we think, accidentally punched by an inmate who had been sprayed with pepper spray," Ray told the Idaho Statesman.
The fights broke out at 12:12 and 12:16 p.m. at the Idaho State Correctional Institution near Kuna, he said. The first fight involved five inmates and broke out between unit 9 and unit 11. A few minutes later, officers broke up a fight between three inmates in a breezeway, he said.
Disciplinary action for the inmates involved is in the works, Ray said.
Idaho Corrections Director Kevin Kempf posted a brief item about the incidents on the IDOC Facebook page about 5:20 p.m. Tuesday, saying "our goal is to lift this status as soon as possible and get back to normal operations."