Menard Correctional Center under lockdown after assault in chapel

MENARD, IL (KFVS) - Menard Correctional Center is on level 1 lockdown following a staff assault Monday morning.

An officer was assaulted in the chapel along with two others who came to his aid, according to Stacey Solano, chief public information officer.

All staff members involved were treated and released from the local hospital.

Kevin Hirsch is president of Local 1175 of the American Federal of State, County and Municipal Employees and a sergeant at the prison. He says one inmate appeared to lure a guard into the attack Tuesday morning. An assault by more inmates followed and the second guard and chaplain were injured.

Hirsch says 10 to 15 inmates were placed in isolation after the incident.

Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Stacey Solano says the prison in Chester is locked down and the incident is under investigation. She says injured staff members were treated at a local hospital.

Neither Solano nor Hirsch would identify the staff members.

IDOC is investigating.

Tuesday's assaults were the latest in a series of violent incidents over the last month at Menard Correctional Center and other Illinois state prisons. Last Thursday, a Menard inmate died in what one official called suspicious circumstances.

Union officials say the violence is a result of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's decision to close several prisons around the state to save money.

Tuesday's assaults happened as about 200 union members marched outside the prison in the southern Illinois town of Chester. They were protesting over what they say are growing threats to their safety.

Copyright 2013 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this story.