The state's maximum security Wende Correctional Facility in Alden was placed on lockdown at 7 a.m. Friday so that the 884 inmates of the facility could be frisked. The process could take up to 72 hours, according to Peter K. Cutler, spokesman for the state prison system
Within the past week, security staff at the Alden facility confiscated some weapons and other illegal contraband from inmates that prompted the facility's executive staff, in consultation with officials in Albany, to stage the lockdown, Cutler said.
During the lockdown, recreation programs are suspended and inmates eat their meals in their cells, but visitation and sick calls are not suspended, Cutler said.
The whole process is done to ensure the safety and security of everyone in the facility, both inmates and staff, and any inmate caught with illegal contraband will face disciplinary charges and sanctions, Cutler said.
Mark David Chapman, the convicted killer of Beatle John Lennon, is among the inmates in the facility.