After seven staff members were reportedly attacked by inmates at SF County Jail in just a two-week span, two of the jail’s facilities have been placed on lockdown, with the incarcerated restricted to their cells and visits canceled for the time being.

According to the union known as the San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs' Association, SF County jails saw 240 prisoner fights in 2023, which is a 58% increase over the previous year. And NBC Bay Area reports that prisoners “have injured seven staff members” in the two-week span from March 29 to April 14. That date of this past Friday, April 14 date is critical, as that’s the day that two SF County jails were placed on lockdown, that same NBC Bay Area report says.

Lockdown generally means that inmate movement is restricted and they are not allowed to leave their cells. That NBC Bay Area reports also notes that visitations have been canceled for the time being, and it’s unclear when those will resume. The only two facilities placed on lockdown are County Jail No. 2, which is at Seventh and Bryant streets, and County Jail No. 3, which is actually in San Bruno, but is run by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office.

“The lockdown went into effect for the protection of all who work or reside in, or visit our jails, and includes cancellation of visits, programs, and services,” the SF Sheriff’s Office said in a Saturday statement to the Chronicle. “We are actively investigating these incidents to ascertain their root causes and any potential correlation. It is imperative that we identify and address the factors contributing to these assaults to prevent future occurrences.”

That Saturday statement added that “Normal operations should resume next week.”

But that’s not enough for the deputy sheriff’s union, which put out a statement calling for the Nation Guard to be brought in to make up for understaffing at the facility. SF Deputy Sheriffs' Association president Ken Lomba told NBC Bay Area that nine deputies have been attacked by inmates at SF County jails since March 24.

"On April 12th it was like the worst day in my history of the department,” Lomba told NBC Bay Area. “It just felt like the bottom just fell out of the department, cause of all of the attacks on deputies and the prisoner-on-prisoner fights."

Neither the union nor the SF Sheriff’s Office have provided further detail on the attacks.

But the Sheriff’s Office seems to be resisting those calls from the union to bring in the National Guard. That department said in a Sunday follow-up statement to the Chronicle that “we are confident that recent safety issues and behaviors by those incarcerated will be addressed by our internal response.”

There are about 1,100 people currently in custody at SF County jails. Of course, these are the same jails that also had a 2015 scandal where deputies had forced inmates to fight with each other, with deputies betting on them, so there have been some culture issues there. One of the deputies who was fired over that scandal got his job with the department back in late January.

Related: Dilapidated County Jail Building to Close September 5, Months Ahead of Schedule [SFNews]

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