August 24, 2016

DOC attempt to blame Pontiac CC employees for inmate assault is shameful, baseless

The Illinois Department of Corrections’ attempt to lay the blame on injured employees for the August 21 outbreak of inmate violence at Pontiac Correctional Center is shameful and baseless, according to the union that represents employees at the maximum-security correctional facility.

“The department’s assertion that the employees involved in the incident failed to ‘follow workplace safety procedures’ was made without a shred of evidence before any investigation had been undertaken,” said Eddie Caumiant, Regional Director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31. “In fact, the employees’ actions that day were in compliance with departmental procedures.”

When AFSCME representatives met with management staff at the Pontiac facility on August 23 to review the details of the assault that occurred two days earlier, facility management did not provide any indication whatsoever that employees failed to follow IDOC procedures, Caumiant said.

“It seems all too clear that the IDOC statement laying blame on employees was nothing more than the department’s top brass trying to evade responsibility for the ongoing problems at Pontiac Correctional Center,” Caumiant said. “The IDOC director should immediately and personally apologize to each of the employees who were injured in the assault for besmirching their records."

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