AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Washington said he was able to talk with both African-American and Latino inmates, who expressed frustration that they had not been able to contact family during a continuing lockdown of all county jails. The inmates are feeling very vulnerable and the tension is high, he said. “War could break out any time. They can’t keep living like this,” Washington said. Washington said he agrees with the Sheriff’s Department decision to temporarily segregate African-American and Latino inmates. “It’s not a pretty sight,” he said. “But the people must remain separated until they’ve had a chance to rebuild relationships within the facility.” CASTAIC – As sporadic violence continued inside Pitchess Detention Center, a minister and former California legislator got a private tour Friday to speak with inmates and concluded that jail dormitories should be divided into cells for inmates’ own protection. The Rev. Carl Washington toured Pitchess’ North County Correctional Faciliy, where the rioting started Feb. 4 and which contains large living areas split into upper and lower levels, with dozens of bunk beds along the walls and a large open area in the center. “These dorms have to be turned into jail cells,” said Washington, spokesman for the Ministers Coalition for Peace. “Right now, there is no safe haven for inmates who don’t want to participate in any disturbance.” North County is one of three Pitchess Detention Center jails containing a total of about 7,200 inmates. Riots started there, but during the week spread to the other two Pitchess jails. Washington, who has worked to resolve gang situations in Compton before and during his 1996-2002 tenure in the state Assembly, said communication from gang members outside jail is causing the conflicts. “It’s definitely coming from the streets, and when they get out, it will go back to the streets,” he said. “Leadership has taken some of the ‘shot callers’ inside the prison and moved them around. They have to be separated to get a handle on what’s going on. But right now, all they have is the muscle of law enforcement to stop things. There is no order. Someone has to stop the madness from happening.” One inmate was killed, 90 have been injured and 28 hospitalized in fighting that started Feb. 4 and continued through Friday morning, according to sheriff’s Chief Marc Klugman, who oversees county jails. He was not sure how many hospitalized inmates had been returned to jail. As Washington spoke to reporters outside the Pitchess gate, two women with a small girl talked with deputies to get information on a relative. Adrianna Vargas, 22, said she last talked to her husband, Luis, before the first riot. He already had a feeling trouble was brewing and told her deputies intended to cut off inmates’ telephone privileges. She hasn’t spoken to him since the fighting. “I talked with my husband Saturday and he said it was not right,” Vargas said. “He told me they weren’t going to let him talk. We came to see if he was all right.” Deputies at the gate told Vargas that her husband, who has been in custody at Pitchess since October and is due to be released in March, was not one of the injured inmates, but they had no information beyond that. “They told me if he has a problem, they will call our house,” she said. “But I’m still not sure if he’s OK.” Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!