Big Muddy prison on lockdown again

2013-08-28T06:00:00Z Big Muddy prison on lockdown againBY KURT ERICKSON THE SOUTHERN SPRINGFIELD BUREAU The Southern

SPRINGFIELD — For the second time in less than two weeks, part of a Southern Illinois prison is on lockdown after prison guards found potential weapons stashed in a cell.

The move to limit inmate movement at the medium-security Big Muddy Correctional Center near Ina started Monday morning after multiple metal objects, some of which were partially sharpened, were found in a cell.

Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer said officials placed the cell house on lockdown, but left the rest of the 1,883-inmate facility on normal status.

“(T)he presence of any such items is absolutely prohibited and the source material has been eliminated,” Shaer said in a statement Tuesday.

The heightened security comes 12 days after the facility was locked down because an inmate assaulted a guard. The officer was not injured in the attack.

In a recent report, the John Howard Association, which monitors Illinois’ severely overcrowded prison system, said the 20-year-old facility houses hundreds of sex offenders, but has only three employees dedicated to providing treatment for those inmates.

The Chicago-based watchdog group complimented prison employees in the July report, but said the staffing shortfall raises questions about whether sexually dangerous inmates are getting enough treatment before being released.

kurt.erickson@lee.net / 217-782-4043

Copyright 2015 The Southern. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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