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Will County Jail Inmate Afraid Guards Going To Kill Him

A Harvey man in jail on a burglary charge out of Frankfort says he is afraid correctional officers will kill him for lawsuits he filed alleging he was beaten and abused.

Six months after he was locked up in the Will County jail on burglary and theft charges, William Jenkins said guards bashed his head against a shower stall wall before pushing and punching him during a strip search.

Six months after that alleged attack, the 29-year-old Harvey man said members of the jail's black-clad Emergency Response Team locked went into his cell and beat him so badly he was sent to the medical wing for two weeks.

Jenkins sued six different deputies—three in connection with each alleged attack—shortly after the respective incidents. And now he fears he will be killed for blowing the whistle, said his lawyer.

"That's exactly what he is alleging," said Joliet attorney John Schrock, adding that Jenkins is in "serious fear of his life."

The Frankfort police arrested Jenkins in October 2011 after he and Dolton man Ira Cunningham, 33, were allegedly caught breaking into a house on Linden Drive. Cunningham has since been convicted and is pulling a 16-year prison sentence.

Jenkins remains in jail as he case crawls through court. And Schrock says that after two beatings—the second in retaliation for taking legal action—his client is gravely afraid he will die before making it to trial.

Deputy Chief Ken Kaupas, the spokesman for the Will County Sheriff's Department, says he has not seen either lawsuit and cannot comment on pending litigation.

The first lawsuit, filed in June, says Jenkins and other inmates were herded into a shower for a strip searchg in April. Jenkins and a guard then "engaged in verbal dialogue regarding the process," and two Emergency Response Team members descended on Jenkins, knocking his head off a wall and then beating him.

The second lawsuit, filed late last month, claims members of the Emergency Response Team beat Jenkins while he was locked down in his cell. The lawsuit also says Jenkins has filed grievances with jail administration about the alleged attacks and that the grievances have been denied.

Schrock said abuse of inmates is rampant at the county jail.

"If an inmate mouths off to someone, it does not give them the right to hit them," Schrock said.

"I think it's a problem at the Will County Adult Detention Center, particularly with the ERTs," he said. "If you ask the inmates, when you see the ERTs come out, you know somebody's going to get tuned up. It's a subliminal message they're sending."

how January 31, 2013 at 11:43 AM
oleary v kaupas Feb 19 2013
WhistleblowersTom&Jenn January 31, 2013 at 08:54 PM
Yes, I know about the lawsuit and I know the Will County Sheriff's Department does the things that she alleged and much worse. I just didn't know if she "disappeared" and hid from the stalking, or if I maybe misunderstood the post. There will be much more coming out in time. Trust me. I won't it is when I get all the proof because it would be beyond rude to bring new news to a reporter's website. I guarantee that the stories will blow your mind though. @Rusty, please post details! Maybe leave out the names of the inmates to protect their privacy, but mention the other details when you have a moment. Please.
Listen February 01, 2013 at 07:22 PM
Trial for Marlis O'Leary v. Paul Kaupas starts February 19 Federal Court Chicago. Public Court for anyone who wants to listen!!!
Chris williams sr March 12, 2013 at 06:44 AM
Let me say this,ive been in the county four times,my last time was in1994,since then I have changed my life around,ive never had a problem with the e.r.t.s,maybe you need a new cateer.

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