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USP Thomson sees third mailroom drug exposure in 2022

According to the staff union, a nurse was handling inmate mail when her face and hands started to go numb. It comes as the union calls for more mailroom protections.

THOMSON, Ill. — Another USP Thomson employee suffered a medical emergency after being exposed to drugs in the mailroom, according to a press release from AFGE Local 4070, the prison's staff union.

Officials said the staff member, a nurse, was handling inmate mail when she was exposed to a harmful substance and had an adverse reaction, requiring immediate medical attention.

The substance was later identified as synthetic marijuana K2/Spice, according to Jon Zumkehr, the president of AFGE Local 4070 Union.

This is the third time a USP Thomson staff member has been exposed to harmful drugs via mail in 2022, following similar incidents in March and April.

Prison workers have previously called for increased officer protection and additional drug detection equipment following the prior two incidents.

The union implores officials and local management to use the mail guard system to help prevent drug contraband from entering the prison mail system.

Zumkehr then stressed a need for additional staff at the facility, saying that the prison currently has 112 open positions.

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