Ill. prison guards describe violence and predict more
SPRINGFIELD – Guards at Illinois’ overcrowded and understaffed prisons predicted Thursday that Gov. Pat Quinn’s plan to close two penitentiaries will lead to more violence, like an incident where a guard was attacked and radioed for assistance, then had to fight off the inmate for five minutes before someone came to his aid.
“Five minutes is a lifetime,” said Mark Mountain, a union leader and officer at the Western Illinois Correctional Center. He said the officer was punched several times in the face and head July 7 and suffered a knee injury because there was no immediate backup from the shorthanded prison staff.
“This one bothers me when I go to sleep at night,” Mountain said at a state Capitol event organized by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
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