ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – In response to reports that assaults on staff increased 51 percent in Illinois prisons and 49 percent in youth centers between 2015 and 2017, state Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, is calling on the Illinois Department of Corrections and Department of Juvenile Justice to strengthen workplace safety practices to prevent further injuries.
“Frontline correctional employees are exposed to numerous safety hazards as they work to keep our community safe,” Halpin said. “The high number of assaults on prison workers by violent offenders—in many cases leaving employees unable to work—is deeply concerning and must be corrected.”
Incidents of violence against employees in prisons and youth centers have doubled over the last two years. Halpin notes that the spike in assaults coincides with the Rauner administration’s policy changes that slow down disciplinary procedures and allow more violent inmates to be transferred to facilities with weaker security features and lower staffing levels.
Halpin is calling for a halt to the practice of re-classifying dangerous offenders with a history of infractions to lower security facilities where staff is simply not equipped to handle them.
“Once again, Governor Rauner is pushing to cut costs without regard to the human cost,” Halpin said. “As a result, violence has become a severe safety issue facing prison workers, and this must be addressed through sufficient staffing levels, functional equipment and appropriate security classifications.”
For more information, please contact Halpin’s full-time constituent service office at 309-558-3612 or at email@example.com.