The Illinois Department of Corrections and AFSCME are trading blame over the recent inmate assault against six employees at the Pontiac Correctional Center.
Four correctional officers and two lieutenants were taken to the hospital, and have since been released, after suffering non-life threatening injuries in a Sunday fight with five inmates at the Pontiac maximum-security prison.
IDOC released a statement this week saying the Pontiac incident apparently stemmed from a staff "failure to follow workplace safety procedures already in place."
AFSCME, which represents the prison workers, responded by calling the department's attempt to blame Pontiac employees for the altercation "shameful and baseless."
In an effort to reduce recidivism, State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) introduced legislation last week that would increase "timely and comprehensive" access to GED education for Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) inmates.
"I think that the general public would be surprised to hear how little programming is available for the folks that are incarcerated in our facilities," Cassidy said at a news conference at the Howard Area Community Center in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood on the North Side.
Joined by formerly incarcerated men and activists from the ONE Northside Violence Prevention Coalition, Cassidy said the legislation aims to turn the IDOC "into something whose mission is dedicated to the act of making someone better."
U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez is scheduled to hold a roundtable discussion in Chicago Thursday afternoon focused on "the importance of community partners in effective job training programs," according to an announcement.