“This happened just before noon,” says Eddie Caumiant, regional director for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31.
According to Caumiant, inmates were being taken off the gallery and were on their way to chow, when the inmate attacked the corrections officer, stabbing him in the neck with what at this time is being reported as a pen. The officer, who was into his second eight-hour shift, also suffered multiple lacerations to the head and was taken to an outside area hospital. Caumiant could not confirm the guard’s status.
Illinois Department of Corrections Spokeswoman Stacey Solano says there were no major injuries, and that after being seen by facility medical staff he was driven to an outside area hospital for evaluation, was treated and released.
Information indicates the 30-year-old inmate in question is 13 years into a 30 year sentence for murder out of Champaign County. Caumiant says initial indications are that the attack may not have been gang related or a “hit” on the guard, but more a mental health issue with the inmate, who has since been taken to Dixon Mental Health Center for evaluation.
Lawrence is again on full-lockdown, just one week after being placed on full-lockdown following an unsuccessful escape attempt.
In that incident while inmates were out in the recreational yard, a 31-year-old inmate serving 20 years for attempted murder, armed kidnapping and armed robbery out of Cook County, made it over the first perimeter fence before it was noticed he was missing. He was ultimately found hiding behind a housing unit, reportedly suffering from severe lacerations from the razor wire.
Monday’s attack is just the latest in what union officials are saying is an increase in violence toward staff and the second incident at Lawrence in less than two months that resulted in a correctional officer having to be hospitalized.
In February the facility was placed on full-lockdown after an inmate attacked and severely beat a guard with a broken broom handle, ultimately breaking the guard’s arm and possibly causing nerve damage.
Monday’s incident comes at a time when IDOC is being scrutinized and criticized by both sides of the aisle, and just weeks before the agency director S.A. “Tony” Godinez goes before a senate committee for reappointment confirmation.