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Pontiac prison on lockdown after 2 workers injured

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Pontiac Correctional Center 1 060222.JPG

Pontiac Correctional Center is shown in this June file photo. 

PONTIAC — The Pontiac Correctional Center has been placed on lockdown and authorities are investigating after two prison employees were injured. 

An inmate assaulted a correctional sergeant and correctional officer with a homemade weapon early Wednesday afternoon, according to Naomi Puzzello, public information officer with the Illinois Department of Corrections. 

The sergeant was transported to a local emergency room by ambulance and then flown to OSF HealthCare in Peoria for further medical evaluation and treatment, Puzzello said. 

The correctional officer has been treated and released, Puzzello said.

The incident is under investigation, she said. 

As Thursday afternoon, the facility remained on lockdown, according to its website. No visits are allowed.

Union leaders representing the prison workers said the incident "serves as a painful reminder of the dangers that correctional employees face on the job every single day."

In a joint statement, AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch and AFSCME Local 494 President and Corrections Lieutenant William Lee described the incident as a "vicious attack." 

"The bravery of the men and women who work at Pontiac Correctional Center was on full display today," the union leaders said Wednesday evening. "Despite working short staffed, our officers on duty responded swiftly to apprehend the offending individual and assure medical treatment for the injured sergeant. Their swift and decisive response prevented a potentially deadly situation from spiraling out of control."

William Lee, president of Pontiac prison's worker union, calls for the Illinois Department of Corrections to be transparent and stop plans to close parts of the facility.

Contact Robyn Skaggs at robyn.skaggs@lee.net or 309-820-3244.

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