Pinckneyville prison on lockdown after inmate strikes guard

2013-01-03T15:27:00Z Pinckneyville prison on lockdown after inmate strikes guardBY SCOTT FITZGERALD, The Southern The Southern
January 03, 2013 3:27 pm  • 

PINCKNEYVILLE - A Pinckneyville Correctional Center inmate struck a center security staff member in the face Thursday during a routine line movement, which prompted prison officials to order and place the unit on lockdown.

The officer was taken to the prison's health care unit where he was treated for a black eye.

Prisoners were being escorted during a routine line movement on Thursday morning when the prisoner stepped out of line and "aggressively struck the officer in the face. If you don't see something like this coming, you can imagine how severe it was. It was unseen and unprovoked," said security guard Randy Hellmann, president of Local Union 943 at Pinckneyville.

Hellman said the prisoner who allegedly provoked the assault was probably not one of more than 25 recently transferred inmates from recently closed maximum security units ordered shutdown by Gov. Pat Quinn.

There have been more life-sentenced inmate transfers to the Pinckneyville unit this week, he said. Placement of prisoners from maximum security units into medium-security units is causing problems as there is a relaxing of disciplinary standards for the maximum prisoners, giving them a sense of empowerment, Hellmann said.

Hellmann said he spent most of Thursday in discussions with Illinois Department of Corrections officials about the impact of mixing prisoners of various levels in the same setting.

"This is not a staffing issue. It's a placement issue. You don't put the most dangerous inmates where they are not supposed to be housed," Hellmann said.

It's the second lockdown at Pinckneyville within a month. On Dec. 7, an inmate attacked and injured a guard forcing a lockdown.

A spokesman with IDOC had not commented on the incident as of this report.

scott.fitzgerald@thesouthern.com . 618-351-5076

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(3) Comments

  1. ToniT87
    Report Abuse
    ToniT87 - January 06, 2013 7:37 am
    AMEN sgtstu! "todd" needs a job where a black eye is a possibility everyday he goes to work, and when it happens, he can be thankful that it wasn't an homemade shank or MUCH worse!
  2. sgtstu
    Report Abuse
    sgtstu - January 04, 2013 9:03 am
    You sir are an idiot ! This is one of many guards in this State that make you and your family safe in your home, car and everywhere else you are during any 24 hour period. You should find out who that brave guard is and ask if you could be of any help. More than likely you are a former Pinckneyville Correctional Center inmate. I suggest now that you are out you get a job and obey the laws of this land like the rest of us and keep your sour grapes to yourself !!
  3. todd
    Report Abuse
    todd - January 03, 2013 9:48 pm
    More than one guard at that facility would benifit from a black eye. Sounds more like union politics. .
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