After a two-day preplanned routine search put the Benner state prison on lockdown, it will be back in normal operation Thursday morning.
Prison spokeswoman Holly Bachik said a search of the facility began at 8 a.m. Tuesday and continued through Wednesday.
She said the prison is required to conduct searches of the facility multiple times a year under state Department of Corrections policy.
Prison security conducted the search, mainly in the common areas of the prison, Bachik said.
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She said she didn’t know how many searches were conducted each year, but that it happens “on a regular basis.”
Although it was considered a “limited emergency,” nothing other than departmental procedure prompted the lockdown, Bachik said.
“It’s limited because it’s not a normal operation,” she said. “It’s not an everyday routine.”
When a preplanned search is conducted, all prisons in the area are made aware of the situation, SCI Rockview Superintendent Steve Glunt said.
“Speaking from across the state, it’s a normal, policy-driven occurrence,” he said.
Prisons stop normal routines and perform a search that can last from a few hours to an entire weekend, he said.
During the search, the prison will stop all normal routines, including prisoner programs, and perform “raw security searches and review the property,” he said.
“The main driver is to ensure there is some standard to follow,” Glunt said.
At Rockview, Glunt issues several searches a year, but mixes it up so there is no “predetermined pattern,” he said.
“We like to spread them out so it’s not consistent,” Glunt said. “It does well for the institution because everyone works together.”
Rockview held its most recent searches in July and September. The July search lasted for two days.
Glunt didn’t release further details of those last searches.
At Benner, families and friends of inmates were only allowed to make contact with prisoners in emergency situations, which Bachik described as “anything that’s not usual.”