Just in case anyone's going to visit this weekend I thought I'd post this so that you can ring first to see what's going on. I'd hate people to have wasted journeys. I picked it up from the Chester Sun-Times today.
Pinckneyville Prison on lockdown status
The Pinckneyville Correctional Center is on lockdown after an incident at the prison Wednesday. Two officers were injured but the accounts of exactly what happened differ from whom you talk to.
A spokesman for AFSCME said seven inmates in an apparent gang related incident involving the Black Disciples attacked two staff members. The incident happened during line movement.
A spokesman from the Illinois Department of Corrections had a different story. He said one inmate was ordered to present himself by a lieutenant to be handcuffed but the inmate refused. The lieutenant and another officers had to physically restrain the inmate and the two guards were injured. During the altercation, no other inmates were involved.
Prison authorities will determine the length of the lockdown at the Pinckneyville Correctional Center.
This comes at a time when AFSCME and the state are in negotiations of a new contract for 37,000 state employees in prisons and other facilities around the state. The current contract expires on June 30.
The blacker the berry the sweeter it's juice - Old Romani Proverb
'The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.' - Gandhi
Another angle that seems to prove your point, jims
PINCKNEYVILLE PRISON ON LOCKDOWN
BY CHRISTI MATHIS
FOR THE SOUTHERN
[Thu May 20 2004]
PINCKNEYVILLE -- Pinckneyville Correctional Center is on lockdown after an incident Wednesday morning in which two officers were injured but two separate accounts of the incident are circulating.
Steve Joiner, staff representative for AFSCME, the union representing correctional officers and other state employees, said seven inmates attacked two staff members in an apparently gang-related incident involving the Black Disciples. He said the incident occurred during line movement and involved inmates from Unit R3. He said the two officers suffered cuts and bruises.
Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Sergio Molina countered with a much different story. He said one inmate was ordered by a prison lieutenant to present himself to be handcuffed for some type of infraction or improper behavior and the inmate refused the order. He said the officer and another officer then physically restrained the inmate, during which time they were injured, but that no other inmates were involved in the altercation.
Molina said all inmates are to follow rules and comply with orders without question and it's standard practice to restrain, handcuff and place in segregation those who refuse to do so. He said in taking this action one male officer suffered scratches and another hurt his sore wrist. He said typically injured prison employees are seen by medical personnel after such an incident as a precaution. But, Molina insisted no other inmates were involved and it was not a gang-related problem. He said five other inmates who were in the same line movement were handcuffed but he said this is also a standard, precautionary measure.
"One inmate refused orders but no other inmates made any moves toward the officers," Molina said.
He said the prison will remain on lockdown at the discretion of local prison authorities.
"It's just another example of how bold these inmates are getting with the current staffing conditions and overcrowding at a time when the governor is talking about closing more facilities," Joiner said. "It seems like to me they're trying to downplay the situation."
Molina said it was just a struggle involving two officers and an inmate who refused orders and nothing more.
AFSCME and the state are in the midst of negotiating a new contract for some 37,000 state employees in prisons and numerous other places as the old pact expires June 30. Informational pickets were held at about 100 workplaces statewide this week to inform the public of the status of negotiations and that the union is very unhappy with the state's offer that in essence cuts employee benefits resulting in what the union said amounts to a pay cut averaging 17 percent. The union is also objecting to the lay-off of 630 prison employees at the end of the fiscal year.
Governor Rod Blagojevich's spokeswoman Rebecca Rausch said this week there will be no comments regard contract negotiations while they are ongoing.