“Pinckneyville [Correctional Center] is on Level 1 lockdown after an inmate fight,” says Department of Corrections Spokeswoman Stacey Solano, noting the incident is under investigation.
While Solano notes there were no serious injuries reported by inmates or staff, a Level 1 lockdown is the highest level enforced by the agency, which means there is no movement among inmates as they are restricted to their cells.
Sources within IDOC indicate the incident was more than just a fight between two inmates, but involved multiple inmates of rival gangs, which was the basis for such a stringent response from the administration.
Eddie Caumiant, spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said he could only confirm a fight and the lockdown and could not confirm any of our details. However, in a later interview with a southern publication, he did note an apparent gang affiliation with the inmates involved.
Pinkneyville CC currently houses more than 2,200 inmates, according to the IDOC website, and is a medium security facility for adult males.
According to sources familiar with the incident, during “chow line” at approximately 11 a.m., this morning, a fight took place on the walk and involved five members of rival street gangs the Gangster Disciples and the Black P Stones.
Wednesday’s incident comes less than two weeks after the medium security facility Lawrence Correctional Center was placed on Level 1 lockdown after inmate attacked a guard with a broken broom handle, ultimately breaking the guard’s arm.
The incident also comes just days after Menard, the maximum security facility in Chester, was taken from a Level 1 lockdown to partial lockdown.
Menard CC had been on full lockdown since Feb. 5, after approximately 15 inmates with possible Latino street gang connections assaulted three staff members, including the facility chaplain. Many of the inmates believed involved in that incident were subsequently moved to medium security facilities across the state, including Lawrence and Pinckneyville.