Several Illinois Central Penitentiary employees fell ill Wednesday while attending to one or more inmates who were suffering from severe discomfort, according to a prison spokesperson and a representative of the prison employees union. was treated at a hospital.
Officials said 18 staff members at the John A. Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro need to be treated at an area hospital.
An undisclosed number of inmates were treated at the prison’s health care unit, about 65 miles northeast of St. Louis.
The Hazardous Materials Team of the Illinois State Police Department is investigating, State Department of Corrections spokesperson Naomi Pazello said in a statement.
Pazzello said prison staff became ill after they responded to “a medical incident involving an individual in custody who appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance.”
“All staff members who may have come into contact with the unknown substance have also been sent to local hospitals as a precautionary measure. All staff are now stable and many have already been discharged,” said Puzzello. says Mr.
Prison officers and other staff who responded to emergency calls became ill and some became violent when approaching affected inmates, according to an employee union, U.S. state, county and local government employees. Council 31’s Anders Lindor said.
“People who were close to the inmate were quickly overcome with a range of symptoms, including lightheadedness, dizziness, vomiting and nausea,” said Lindall.
Many staff members received medical care at Hillsboro Regional Hospital. When the facility reached capacity, others were treated at his HSHS St. He was treated at Francis Hospital, ten miles west in Litchfield. Most were released, but some were kept for observation and testing to determine the cause, Lindall said.
A law enforcement officer said it was a sister station to KTVI in St. Louis. WCIA-TV, a CBS affiliate of Champaign, Illinoiscalled local agencies to deliver all available NARCAN to the facility.
NARCAN is a drug commonly used to counteract the effects of opioids.
AFSCME’s State Council has expressed growing concern about prison staff coming into contact with dangerous substances.
“The problem of exposure to toxic substances in prisons is increasing,” Lindall said, adding that prisons need better searches. We’ve been sounding the alarm for months to tighten up our protocols.”
A union meeting was underway in the prison when the call came in, Lindall said, and members had broken up the meeting, transported colleagues to hospital, warned families, and offered other assistance.
Graham Correctional Center is a medium-security prison for adult men that opened in 1980 with a capacity of 1,596 inmates. It currently houses 1,328 inmates.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/unknown-substance-multiple-staffers-inmates-illinois-prison-graham-correctional-center/ ‘Unknown Substance’ Discomforts Multiple Staff and Inmates at Illinois Prison, Official Says