Chester, IL (AP)–Illinois Department of Corrections records show that serious assaults at the Menard Correctional Center are up so far this year.

The Southern Illinoisan newspaper in Carbondale ( ) reports that 20 serious assaults were reported by May 29. That’s an average of four a month. The prison in Chester in southwest Illinois had 30 in all of 2012 for average of two and a half a month.

Previous news reports have also shown that three inmates have been killed this year at the maximum-security prison.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees represents guards in the state’s prisons. Spokesman Kevin Hirsch says overcrowding and short staffing are in part to blame.

Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer says the department doesn’t believe it can read much into five months of results.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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