Illinois Department of Corrections boosts staffing levels

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois Department of Corrections official says the agency has increased the number of correctional officers, helping drive down overtime costs.

(Credit: michaklootwijk)
(Credit: michaklootwijk)

Agency spokeswoman Nicole Wilson says the department has increased staffing by 468 correctional officers, after accounting for attrition through resignation, retirements and dismissals. She says the department hired 1,114 new trainees between Dec. 31, 2014, and Nov. 30.

Wilson tells The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan that the department has reduced overtime payouts by nearly $10 million between November 2014 and November 2015. She says boosting staffing and cutting overtime costs have been priorities for Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Anders Lindall, spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, says that even with the increase in staffing, levels are far lower than what is needed.