Ill. prison guard on leave after incident


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- An Illinois prison guard has been put on paid leave after an alleged altercation with an inmate at Menard Correctional Center in southern Illinois.


Department of Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer (SHAYR') said Monday the guard is on paid administrative leave while authorities investigate. Shaer would not name the officer.


Shaer says there was an "incident of physical contact" Jan. 22 between the guard and an inmate who was on a hunger strike protesting conditions at the prison. He would not elaborate on the incident.


Shaer says the hunger strike is 18 days old. It began with 14 strikers and is down to 10.


Inmates are refusing to eat to protest the process by which they are separated from other inmates for causing security problems, or because they need protection.

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