Guard Attacked at EM Prison
The state prison in East Moline is on lockdown following the weekend attack against a guard by an inmate. About 2 am Saturday, a female guard was hit in the head several times with a rock. She was first sent to a hospital for treatment, and is now resting at home.
Cody Dornes is president of AFSCME Local 46 which represents employees of the prison. He blames too many inmates and not enough correctional officers.
"When I first started we had 900 inmates and over the past several years we've increased to a population of over 1,300. During that time we've seen an increase of 20 or so staff - security officers."
And those 187 guards have to watch over the inmates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Dornes says the guard who was attacked was alone, in a unit of 110 inmates, who are considered "severely or seriously mentally ill."
He also says East Moline prison guards desperately need new radios.
"We've had multiple occasions where a fight's been called, or a medical emergency, and our radios either they don't transmit, don't come across, and we have to relay the message through the phone system. Or some people just don't hear it. And I think part of that was to blame for this night as well."
In addition, despite being a minimum security prison, more inmates with longer sentences for more serious crimes have been sent there.
Calls and emails to the Illinois Department of Corrections have not been returned.