Hiring Process Makes Illinois Prisons Unsafe

Oct 30, 2015

A new report says the state’s broken hiring process is making Illinois prisons less safe.

Credit flickr user / Michael Coghlan "Prison Bars" (CC BY-SA 2.0)

You might not think of staffing levels as the key issue for Illinois’ troubled prison system, but a new report says otherwise. It undermines public safety, prevents inmates from getting essential services and increases state spending through overtime.

The report is from the prison watchdog John Howard Association.

Jennifer Vollen-Katz says it can take months to replace a departing worker. In the meantime, prisons rely on existing workers to fill in the gap.

“You have lack of staff, fatigued staff, and people who aren’t getting programming, and often that leads to negative behavior,” Vollen-Katz said.

The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment.