A random shakedown at the Kane County jail last week uncovered a dangerous, improvised weapon commonly called a shank, a discovery officials credit to professionalism of Kane County corrections officers and the jail’s news body scanner.
According to a Kane County Sheriff’s Office news release, corrections officers conducted a random “shakedown” at around 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, of the segregation cell block, where inmates with disciplinary issues are held.
During their search of personal, bedding and clothing items, officers became suspicious of one inmate’s jail-issued sandals.
The inmate, Azreal Lashbrook, 18, of the 300 block of South Eighth Street in Nason, IL, was being held without bond on charges of armed violence. He was housed in the segregation unit for having a history of attacking corrections officers.
The Sheriff’s Office said corrections officers were able to use the jail’s new body scanner to verify the presence of a 5-inch-long metal shank concealed within Lashbrook’s sandal.
According to Wikipedia, a shank is an improvised prison knife, also often called a shiv. The related verb “shiv” means “to stab someone.”
Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain said the discovery “is a reminder of the constant danger our deputies and officers face in the course of their duties.”
“Through diligence and relentless attention to detail, they save countless lives every day,” he said.
Hain has highlighted much of the jail’s reform and rehabilitation initiatives but said this event “exposes the other side of jail operations.”
Officers are now trained in and provided with tasers, monthly tactical training, and conduct regular shakedowns to prevent violence from the detainee population that refuse to embrace the new direction of the Kane County Adult Corrections Center.
The body scanner purchase was approved by the Kane County Board in March 2019, after Hain requested the acquisition due to an influx of contraband, including heroin, into the jail. The body scanner allows for a non-intrusive total body inspection for the presence of concealed items.
Hain said the purchase was made at no additional expense to taxpayers by using a combination of inmate commissary revenue and a portion of the jail’s operational budget, which the Sheriff’s staff has kept well in the black.
The Sheriff’s Corrections Criminal Investigation Unit conducted an investigation into the incident. Investigators learned that Lashbrook pulled the piece of metal from inside of a broom head that was used to clean his cell block.
Those brooms have been removed from the entire facility and Lashbrook has been charged with one count of Possession of a Weapon in a Penal Institution, a Class 1 felony.
The charges against Lashbrook are not proof of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
SOURCE: Kane County Sheriff’s Office news release