According to Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Marcelyn Love, a prison guard was injured Monday night by an inmate at the Pontiac Correctional Center, just one month after the Quinn administration moved inmates out of the Southern Illinois prison designed for dangerous inmates.
Love confirmed in a Monday night email with WILY/WRXX news that the unidentified correctional officer received facial injuries after being assaulted by the inmate and was taken to the hospital.
“An IDOC investigation is under way as a result of this incident and the facility is on lockdown,” responded Love. However, inspection of the IDOC website as late as Tuesday night did not list a single facility under lockdown.
According to union officials, the officer will likely have to undergo surgery due to the facial injuries he sustained in the incident.
The attack came after inmates from the super-max security facility Tamms Correctional Center was shuttered and its inmates transferred to the Pontiac facility. The closure also resulted in the state’s more than 49,000 inmates being crammed into a system designed for only 33,000, but now with one less facility.
Opponents of the Tamms closure warned such a move would result in increased violence within the already overcrowded system, but the department says there was no connection between Monday’s assault and the closure of Tamms.
Tamms, built following a riot at Pontiac Correctional Center, was developed as a deterrent for inmate violence, as prisoners did not want to get sent to the facility as punishment for fighting elsewhere.