September 18, 2017

Inmate attack reveals dangerous conditions

In a violent middle-of-the-night attack over the weekend at East Moline Correctional Center, an inmate repeatedly struck a correctional officer in the head with a rock. The officer was working alone on the unit and struggled to call for help on a faulty radio. When the attack was finally quelled, the officer was rushed to a hospital for six staples to close her head wound, but serious questions remain about the increasingly dangerous conditions for employees of the state prison.

“Men and women who work in state prisons do a dangerous job to keep the people of Illinois safe,” AFSCME Council 31 executive director Roberta Lynch said. “We owe them a debt of gratitude, but more than that, we owe them the staff, resources, tools and training they need to stay as safe as possible.” 

“I started six years ago,” said Cody Dornes, a correctional officer who is president of AFSCME Local 46 at EMCC. “Since then, it seems like everything has changed about the inmates at East Moline—there’s more of them, and they’re more dangerous—but nothing has changed to make us safer. We need more staff, better training, and functional equipment to help prevent the next attack and to respond more quickly if and when it comes.”

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