SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- The one-day lockdown of the state's eight major prisons to test a moneysaving effort went off without a hitch, Department of Corrections spokesman Chad Lewis said Wednesday.
Tuesday's successful experiment means the agency will continue with lockdowns one day a month through June so more staff can be given unpaid furloughs, he said.
``There were no unusual incidents,'' Lewis said. ``Nothing out of the ordinary.''
Prisons superintendents will meet to discuss any changes that might improve the lockdowns, he said.
During Tuesday's lockdown, inmates were kept inside their cells all day except for meals. Education programs, drug treatment and work programs were canceled, while gymnasiums, prison libraries and recreation yards were closed.
Employees and guards in those programs came to work Tuesday, even though they did not deal with inmates. Those employees will start taking unpaid furlough days in December, Lewis said.
The furloughs are intended to help meet the 6 percent budget cuts that Gov. Chris Gregoire ordered to deal with a $520 million deficit. For the Department of Corrections, that meant reducing spending by nearly $53 million.
The prisons in lockdown were the Airway Heights Corrections Center, Clallam Bay Corrections Center, Coyote Ridge Corrections Center, Stafford Creek Corrections Center, Monroe Correctional Complex, Washington Corrections Center, Washington Corrections Center for Women and Washington State Penitentiary. The five minimum security facilities were not in lockdown.
The ensure safety, the number of guards in the cell blocks will not be cut, officials have said.
Prison officials have declined to estimate how much money can be saved.