PIATT COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — A correctional officer says safety wasn’t what it should have been.
He’s pulling out evidence to try to prove it. The officer says he has proof fights at the jail in Monticello were worse than administrators would have you believe.
“When you sign up to be a correctional officer, you expect that there’s going to be some dangers with the job.”
But, Kyle Turngren says he got way more than expected.
“When you apply at some place like Piatt County, you don’t expect to have ‘Supermax’ inmates from Chicago.”
But, that’s exactly what he got. Turngren now reports fights and shows graphic pictures showing injuries to inmates and scratches on his own chest as well.
“The gang activity was so high.”
But, the sheriff says it’s just part of the job.
“We’re not here to babysit misdemeanor criminals. We’re here to incarcerate the major crimes.”
Part of the reason these prisoners were brought here is because the jail had so many open spots. But, in the ensuing years, Turngren feels there was more violence and a greater safety risk to staff.
“There are a lot of people in the public who still believe that these were minimum security inmates and that this was no big deal. In fact, this was a very big deal.”
“Severity is kind of relative. When you work in a jail, you can expect to get involved in a fight or be involved in trying to break up a fight between two inmates.”
The sheriff says scratches on Turngren’s body were from a prison fight which could have been avoided had he simply walked away.
The prison program ran from 2012 – 2016 and ended because the number of inmates from Cook County got too low and it was no longer cost-effective.