Incident involving dozens of inmates lands Menard under full-lockdown

CHESTER — Union leaders are confirming an incident Monday at Menard Correctional Center involving dozens of inmates that has resulted in the facility being placed on a Level 1 lockdown.

(Credit: Stephen Orsillo)
(Credit: Stephen Orsillo)

According to Eddie Caumiant, regional director for AFSCME Council 31 that represents most prison employees, there was an inmate-on-inmate incident Monday at Menard involving between 20 and 30 inmates.

Unconfirmed reports indicate shots may have been fired in an attempt to bring the situation under control. Caumiant says he has been speaking with union members from the facility in Chester to find out more details surrounding the incident. It is unclear at this time how many, if any, inmates were injured in the incident. No staff injuries have been reported at this time.

Emails to IDOC’s spokesman Tom Shaer for comment have been returned undeliverable, and the agency currently doesn’t list a director on its website.

Caumiant says Monday was the last day on director Salvador “Tony” Godinez’ extended contract, and it is unclear at this time if an interim director has been appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration. Godinez announced his retirement in December, but agreed to remain in his seat until March 2.

According to Caumiant, such a situation is not unusual during a transition between administrations, but he does say it is “usually a little smoother.”