Friday, September 7, 1973
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
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Friday, September 7, 973 VHE MICHIGAN DAILY i~ Ggei~4 me
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Joliet inmates seize
JOLIET, Ill. ,P) - Ten prison1
guards were taken hostage yester-
day by a group of about 270 in-+
mates at Stateville Penitentiary.
Authorities said some of the re-
belling prisoners were armed with
There were no reports of in-
juries, but prison Supt. Vernon
Revis said, "some of my people'
-HE SAID the rebelling inmates
were in cellhouse B, which he stat-
ed contains chronic troublemakers.
"It's tense, it's very tense," said
K. J. Grimmett, a guard captain
at the prison. "They've got the
hostages and they've got the doors
barred. It's touch and go right
More than 100 off-duty guards
were mustered in an attempt to,
ward off additional trouble. Grim-
mett said about 20 of these were
ordered to ring the walls of the
T H E INMATES asked for a
meeting with officials of the Illi-
SEATTLE OIP - U. S. Supreme
Court Justice William Douglas was
hospitalized yesterday with what
a spokesman described as stomach
black in order to reflect the in-
mate population's racial break-
The list also included a demand
to release 150 inmates from a
special program for hard-nosed
prisoners, an end to a special de-
tention unit, and the appointment
of blacks as cell captains and sen-
ior officers on the security force.
A PRISON CHAPLAIN said
there was some damage to doors
inside the cellhouse where the up-
The cellhouse where the host-
ages were held contains 397 in-
mates, a prison spokesman said. At
first, only about 150 were thought
to be participating in the disturb-
ance, but authorities said later that
about 270 inmates were involved.
The Stateville prison complex in-
cludes circular cellhouses, each
with four tiers of cells overlook-
ing a central area used by guards.
The hostages were held in a sin-
gle, long cellblock in one of the
ABOUT A DOZEN members of
the national Prisoners Solidarity
Committee marched outside the
walls of the massive, red brick
prison. They carried signs support-
ing the prisoners' demands.
Conditions at the penitentiary
were criticized in a report released
Aug. 16 by the corrections depart-
ment. The report listed Stateville
among Illinois prisons whose fa-
cilities are understaffed, "old,
cramped and crowded."
The report also called for an
end to "inmate slavery," the prac-
tice of assigning inmates to do
household work for prison em-
THE REPORT described medi-
cal facilities at the prison as too
small, dirty and using "ancient"
equipment. It recommended the
hospital at the prison be razed and
a new facility built.
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Douglas, 74, who has a history nois Department of Corrections, in-
of heart trouble, was rushed to the cluding the director, Allyn Sielaff.
hospital by ambulance from Seat- Sielaff flew to Joliet from
tle - Tacoma International Airport Springfield, but officials said there
where he had just arrived from To- would be no meeting unless the
kyo following a three-week visit to hostages were released.
the Peoples' Republic of China. "State police are prepared to,
"DOCTORS SAY he has gastro- move in, if necessary," a spokes-
enteritis - translated, that means man said.
stomach flu," said Sam Pope,
spokesman for the University of THE SPOKESMAN said a prison
Washington Hospital. official was in communication with
Pope said Douglas's condition the rebelling inmates. Earlier, the
was "stable" but added Douglas spokesman quoted the inmates as
probably would be held for two or saying they did not want to harm
three days for observation. anyone.
"He is getting along okay,"anoe
Pope said, "but they haven't pin- The maximum security prison 30
pointed the extent of any other miles northeast of Chicago houses
problems he might have, so they about 1,700 mmates.
don't want to say 'good'." Inmates at the Indiana State
"IT DIDN'T seem that terribly Prison at Michigan City, Ind.,
serious," Pope said, "but they sie he ursls ekn
didn't want to put a label on it that seized three guards last weekend
soon. and held them hostage for four
Douglas was placed in the coro- days before, releasing them un-
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nary care unit of the hospital, said
Randy Kobernick, another spokes-
man. But, she said, that is because
of Douglas' history as a heart pa-
"He's had a history of heart
problems and that's probably why
he's there. But it's stomach flu
and probably not associated with"
THE JOLIET inmates submit-
ted three different sets of de-
Oneddemand called for the hiring
of more blacks on the prison se-
curity force. The inmates said 80
per cent of the force should be
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