Group: Illinois should streamline corrections hiring process

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A report from an Illinois prison watchdog group says the state’s hiring process for its corrections system is cumbersome and needs to be streamlined.

The John Howard Association says in the report that jobs at state corrections facilities stay vacant too long because of the hiring system, and that it can lead to some of the best candidates to look elsewhere. The report was released Thursday.

Association executive director Jennifer Vollen-Katz says the idea for the report came after the group visited facilities and saw “chronic understaffing.” Many procedures that slow hiring were meant curb political favoritism, but Vollen-Katz tells the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers that processes have become “unwieldy and unmanageable.”

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Nicole Wilson says the agency is “working aggressively to boost staffing levels.”