Juvenile prison youth counselor dies after being assaulted by inmate, the DOC says

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Posted at 12:16 PM, Jun 26, 2024

LINCOLN COUNTY (NBC 26) — The Wisconsin Department of Corrections says a counselor at a Wisconsin youth prison has died after being assaulted by an inmate.

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections said in a news release a staff member at Lincoln Hills School — a juvenile correctional facility located in Irma in Lincoln County — died Tuesday night from injuries he sustained in an assault at the school on Monday.

The DOC has identified the youth counselor as 49-year-old Corey Proulx.

The DOC says two Lincoln Hills School staff members were hurt when a 16-year-old attacked them around 8 p.m. Monday night. One staff member was assaulted in the residence hall when the teen returned from outdoor recreation. Shortly after, the teen attacked Proulx, causing him to hit his head on the concrete.

The first staff member was taken to a hospital but was eventually released.

DOC leaders say they are working to move the teen attacker to a suitable facility. Some other minors were moved to a different residence hall because of the incident.

The DOC says Proulx returned to serve as a youth counselor last spring after leaving the school two years prior.

“It is with tremendous sadness and regret that I announce the loss of a dedicated professional, colleague, and friend in the line of duty,” DOC Secretary Jared Hoy said in the release. “A career in corrections, with its dual mission to protect the public and guide individuals toward rehabilitation, can be demanding and requires so many sacrifices for our staff and our families, and Corey made the ultimate sacrifice. Our DOC family is mourning Corey’s loss, and we are keeping all of his family members and friends in our thoughts.”

Proulx's family is asking for privacy at this time.

Court records show the teen has been charged with second-degree reckless homicide, felony murder-battery, and two counts of battery by prisoners.

We are not naming him because he's a minor.

Court records show he's being held on a $100,000 cash bond.

Governor Tony Evers announced Wednesday that the U.S. and Wisconsin flags will be flown at half-staff on Thursday, June 27 in honor of Proulx.

“Our hearts break for Corey, his family and loved ones, his colleagues at the department, and all those who knew and loved him," Evers said in a news release. "By all accounts, Corey was a dedicated public servant who led with kindness and compassion in his commitment toward helping and supporting the youth he worked with. Wisconsinites today are honoring Corey and his service as we mourn his tragic passing and keep Corey’s family and loved ones, colleagues, and all those who knew and served alongside him in our hearts and our prayers.”

Flags will also be flown at half-staff on the day Proulx is buried. That date has yet to be announced.