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Armed Guards in Illinois
Here at the Pontiac Maximum Penitentiary, guards continuously walk up and down a semi-caged catwalk looking into cells. The catwalk guards are armed with an M-14.
On January 12, 1996, a catwalk guard observed a prisoner approaching another guard in what he described as a threatening manner, and he believed said prisoner to be armed with what appeared to be a homemade knife. The catwalk guard said he feared for the safety of his fellow officer, so he shot and killed the prisoner. Pontiac has been on lockdown status since the killing [letter dated July 7] and prisoncrats are using this incident along with prior and subsequent incidents of violence to justify what is appearing to be a permanent lockdown status, just as they did at Marion, IL.
I recently renewed my subscription, and I have also participated in the media outreach campaign by purchasing a one year subscription for another editor of my hometown newspaper. Hopefully others have participated in this campaign, too.
-- J.M., Pontiac, IL
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